President Marcelo speaking to the country last night. image: António Pedro Santos/ Lusa
President Marcelo speaking to the country last night. image: António Pedro Santos/ Lusa

Vote, vote, vote: President’s New Year’s message

“Without vote, there is no liberty or democracy”

Following a roller-coaster 2023, President Marcelo addressed the country on the 1st day of 2024 to stress the importance of citizens exercising their right to vote.

2023 was a decisive year, but 2024 promises to be “even more decisive”, with both legislative elections on the mainland (on March 10), regional elections in the Azores (in February) and European elections in June.

Portugal’s president ackknowledged the outgoing government, saying that it was clear “that balanced accounts, greater growth/ qualified employment/ investment and exports are essential” but he countered that “growth without social justice, without reducing poverty and inequalities between people and territories, is not sustainable”.

Since the revolution of April,1974 – the 50th anniversary of which by coincidence the country will be celebrating this year – “it has been the people who decide and think about their futures and the future of the country”, he said, at a point where the approaching elections are the subject of endless polls and conversations.

Political parties have all been reacting today to the president’s message – some agreeing wholeheartedly with Marcelo, others not quite so sure, while a new poll shows that the majority of citizens believe prime minister António Costa will be ‘cleared’ of any suspicions of ‘faciliating’ in Operation Influencer, to be free to continue his political career in Europe.

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