CORRESPONDENT IN LISBON
Rui Rio was reelected as leader of the Conservatives of Portugal
Against all odds. His opponent, Paulo Rangel, had no choice but to admit defeat despite expectations.
The percentage difference Says it all: 53.05% the former mayor of Porto, 46.95% the MEP, who has failed in his plan to present himself as a representative of a more contemporary right and, especially, more belligerent with the current government.
After four years in which it has shown an alarming ineffectiveness when it comes to standing up to the socialism of Antonio Costa, those affiliated with the (paradoxically called) Social Democratic Party (PSD) they renewed their trust in Rio, which shows in this way to have more resources than it seemed.
His will be the leading role in the early general elections on January 30: trying to unseat the Socialists, even though he has already announced that he would not mind making an agreement with them to “guarantee the governability of Portugal.”
Of the Porto candidates, Rui Rio and Paulo Rangel, disputed the leadership of the formation equivalent to the PP in Spain.
So the objective was twofold: to achieve the presidency of the party and, more importantly, to become an alternative of government.
But social networks are full of doubts: is he going to achieve now what he has not achieved in his four years at the helm?
PSD voters they must believe yes, judging by the outcome of these emergency primaries, since they were advanced in order to better prepare the next party congress in mid-December. And, above all, in order to finalize all the details that allow us to reach the legislative with minimal guarantees.
Another thing is that Rui Rio’s strategy works, with the precedents of defeats that he has behind him and his constant attitude of defending socialist proposals, something unthinkable in Spain.
Even in laws like euthanasia did I smash the voting discipline and he encouraged his deputies to speak out according to their individual beliefs. Result: more than one ‘stellar’ PS regulation ended up being approved.
46,000 PSD militants were called to the polls this last Saturday in November, an amount that only includes those who are up to date in paying their fees. And it is that, four years ago, Rio took the victory after getting the ballots cast in Madeira to be annulled