SOS Ria Formosa challenges local politicians over plans for battered barrier islands

Campaign group SOS Ria Formosa has succeeded in making local politicians show their true colours.

Two weeks before the region casts its votes for new municipal leaders, the group has held candidates to a challenge, laid down at the beginning of September.

The objective was to get aspirant mayors to answer key questions over the islands’ futures within two weeks.

The date was even extended by a few days last week to help stragglers come in on time.

Even so, Faro’s PSD mayor – known locally as Rogério U-turn Bacalhau – singularly refused to be drawn, as did Olhão’s PSD-CDS and sundry right-wing coalition candidate for mayor Luciano Jesus.

Jesus, readers may be aware, recently walked out of the fishing town’s PS party after an unsuccessful bid to oust mayor António Pina (click here).

Pina meantime is running for a third term in the top job, enjoying local fame as the “champion” of Ria Formosa’s island population (click here).

For voters interested, SOS Ria Formosa has started publishing candidates’ answers.

The group that has won so many victories for island residents who would otherwise have lost their only homes says it will be releasing texts in the order in which they arrived.

Thus today’s comes from Bloco de Esquerda’s candidate, Ivo Madeira (Olhão) and the next few days will see the responses of other left wingers, representing the CDU (Faro/Olhão), PS (Faro), PS (Olhão) and BE (Faro).

Texts can be read in their entirety on SOS Ria Formosa’s Facebook page, while the group says it has been forced to conclude that answering its questions simply wasn’t in the interests of the area’s right wing candidates.

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