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André Ventura's speech on the election night of 2021. Wikipedia CC BY-SA 4.0

Huge breakthrough for Portugal’s ‘Trump’

The outgoing Portuguese president was re-elected in the first round, but André Ventura, of the Chega party, gained more than ten points compared to the legislative elections of 2019.

Published: January 26, 2021, 5:27 am

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    Lisbon

    The moderate Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa was re-elected president on Sunday, January 24, while the country is once again confined, reported Le Figaro. According to the latest official accounts relayed by journalist Christian Taveira, he was largely re-elected with 60,7 percent of the vote from the first round. The conservative and former law professor is ahead of the former socialist MEP Ana Gomes (12,97 percent) but above all the anti-immigration candidate, André Ventura who won a huge 11,9 percent of the vote.

    The founder of Chega [That’s enough] had set himself the objective of placing himself in second position, and his score marks a strong progression for his party in the country. As proof, he gained more than ten points compared to the last ballot in which he was presented: it was the legislative elections which had taken place only two years ago.

    Nicknamed the “Portuguese Trump” as highlighted by La Tribune de Genève, André Ventura, 38, entered Parliament as a single deputy. Among his campaign themes, was immigration, a subject he has raised since the start of the Coronavirus pandemic by proposing, for example, special containment for Roma communities. In Europe, he is allied, for example, to Marine Le Pen and Matteo Salvini, but does not want Portugal to leave the European Union.

    But in a very specific context, the presidential election did not attract crowds since the abstention rate rose to more than 60 percent, while observers feared that it would rise to 70 percent. However, this is a new record for the country. The previous one dates from 2011 with 53,5 percent. Voters were undoubtedly irritated by the long queues in front of the polling stations on Sunday, where everyone had to keep a prescribed distance.

    In June 2020, André Ventura organized a counter-protest in honor of actor Bruno Candé – victim of a premeditated murder – under the motto “Portugal is not racist” and affirming that the counter-protest “is anything but white supremacist”.  Candé was murdered on 25 July last year by a man who shouted racist insults before shooting the 39-year-old black actor four times.

    Recently Ventura was present at a Movimento Zero protest, in front of the Portuguese National Assembly. He was the only politician to speak, allegedly without asking union leaders, receiving a shower of applause. It was the biggest police protest since the Socialists came to power in 2015.

    In November 2020, he was fined more than €400 for discrimination against Roma communities. In December of the same year, he was ordered to pay €3370 for ethnic discrimination. André Ventura, later in a press conference at the Assembly of the Republic, stated that he would not pay the fine, because according to Ventura: “it would limit the freedom of expression of a citizen, a deputy of the nation and a political leader “.

    André Ventura criticized the State of Emergency of December 17, 2020, saying that: “This is not really a state of emergency. It is a state of chaos over a state of chaos, which is destroying the lives of the Portuguese people without planning, that its only thing they have to give to the country is a Director of Health who says to have breakfast at Christmas and so will solve your problems.”

    Andre Ventura delivers his signature for the officialization of the candidacy for the Presidency of the Republic. Wikipedia. CC BY-SA 4.0

     

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