The PSD leader refused to agree with the President of the Republic when he said that the alternative to the right was weak and recalled that the preponderance of the PS in the 2015 legislative elections is close to that of the social democrats.
Luís Montenegro was speaking at the end of the meeting of the PSD parliamentary group, in which he participated this morning. Asked about Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa’s statements a week ago about the existence of a “weak” alternative to the right, the social-democratic leader said he did not have the “perception” of the President and considered that the Government “has a very great wear” because of the scandals of the last year.
Faced with journalists’ insistence that Marcelo recalled that there is no hegemony of a center-right party and that a possible government only exists if it is supported by coalitions, Montenegro said he did not want to enter into a “dialogue of political analysis” with the head of State, but left a suggestion. “It is worth checking the 2015 election results so that it can be concluded that the preponderance of the largest opposition party, which wanted to govern without winning elections, which is not my case, is not far from what the PSD has today” , he said in an indirect reference to polls.
In 2015, the PS won 32% in the legislative elections and the Bloc won 10% and the CDU 8%. The PSD, in the CESOP poll for PÚBLICO, RTP and Antena 1 published on 22 February, recorded 31% of the voting intentions, while Chega obtained 11% and IL 8%.
The PSD leader considered that the PS has been accusing losses. “My analysis is that the PS lost a significant part of electoral confidence and moved to the right of the PS, not just for the PSD. There is a predisposition of people so that in the future they will be able to trust a political project to the right of the PSD”, he said, adding that “the mission of the PSD is to gather around it most of these voters, who represent 50% of the political spectrum.”
Luís Montenegro was also asked about the content of a email sent by the former manager of TAP, Alexandra Reis, to the then Minister of Infrastructure Pedro Nuno Santos asking for his resignation, in December 2021, which led the PSD leader to draw attention to another issue of the commission of inquiry from the airline.
Montenegro accused the PS of “an attempt at conditioning” after having won the presidency of the commission and having managed to nominate the rapporteur at this Wednesday’s meeting, but was confronted by journalists with the favorable vote of the Social Democrats for that nomination and with the silence of the deputies in the commission. Although the PSD may oppose the appointment of a PS rapporteur, the PSD leader considered that “the will [dos socialistas] it was unstoppable”
“I did not speak with the prime minister” about housing
After this Wednesday, the PS made all the housing proposals feasible, the PSD will also be called upon to give its opinion on some of the Government’s measures that have to go through Parliament. “When they are received, they must have a parliamentary treatment equal to that of PSD proposals”, he said, after being questioned about whether the bench is available to approve Government measures.
Montenegro said he hoped that this signal from the PS, by making the PSD bills viable, is not a “staging” and that it is not political hypocrisy of pretending to be in dialogue.
Asked whether, by saying that he delivered the PSD package to the prime minister, he obtained a commitment that it would be made possible in Parliament, the social democratic leader assured that he did not talk to António Costa on the subject. “I never spoke to the prime minister about this issue. The delivery was public. I hope it will be treated seriously”, he said, highlighting the availability of social democrats for consensus: “We have demonstrated the ability to be more consensual, deeper and more competent in defining public housing policy in Portugal”.
Regarding the election of the vice-president of the Assembly of the Republic, which takes place this afternoon with the candidate of Chega Jorge Galveias, the leader of the PSD said that the party “has not changed its opposition” in the face of the last attempt by André Ventura’s party to elect Rui Paulo Sousa, recalling that it is foreseen in the law that the table has representation of the four major political forces. At the time, the leadership of the PSD bench gave a favorable vote to the Chega candidate.