After a tense National Council that ended with the approval of a vote of confidence in the direction of the CDS (by a short margin), centrist leader Francisco Rodrigues dos Santos again defended his legitimacy to continue to represent the party, emphasizing that his victory “happened before a year at the Aveiro Congress “when he was” elected by the party’s militants “. This Monday, Rodrigues dos Santos complained in an interview with Jornal das Oito on TVI about the boycott of internal critics against his leadership and assured that he was “awkward in politics” despite the initiation of a congress after the local elections.
Francisco Rodrigues dos Santos says that like “any political leader” in Portugal, his continuity “always depends on the election results”. The centrist added, “If you understand that the results are not satisfactory” and that you have “nothing else to offer the country”, you will be “the first to leave the country”. At the moment, however, he is trying to put out the fires of the party: “I don’t want to waste a second of my time with arguments or internal ruptures,” he guaranteed. “It is obvious that we will not make it outside because the Party cannot fix the house inside,” he noted.
The centrist believes that “the CDS is greater than the sum of its components” but warns that “an institution divided against itself cannot survive”. Nevertheless, he rejected the death certificate issued by the CDS, stressing that the party had a “soul” and a 47-year history marked by “a social right that has always fought against extremism left and right ”. “All extremism is bad, but we don’t ignore the discontent that exists in Portuguese society. This dissatisfaction needs sensible solutions, ”he defended, warning that if these people are not given a vote,“ the radical and extremist parties, no matter how crazy they are and are evil in the solutions they present [as soluções] They are the only ones people will hold onto, ”he warned. It is for this reason that the centrist leader says he is “obliged” to respond to this dissatisfaction and disenchantment with the political system.
It is obvious that we will not make it outside because the party cannot fix the house inside
Francisco Rodrigues dos Santos, head of the CDS
The 32-year-old party leader, who came to lead the CDS as the chairman of the centrist youth party, complained about “prejudices” and “chronic distrust of the youngest”. “They think that young people are unable, unqualified and have no experience,” he explained, before recalling some of his predecessors who played a big role in politics from a young age, such as “Adelino Amaro “da Costa, Freitas do Amaral, Manuel Monteiro and Paulo Portas”. In addition, Rodrigues dos Santos believed that his victory at the Congress “was difficult to digest for some fringes within the CDS”.
The centrist also reiterated that “a young person must be judged on his merit, competence and proven evidence” and regretted that in Portugal merit “is of little value”. “My generation doesn’t want subsidies, they want opportunities to show value,” he said of young people facing economic hardship caused by the pandemic.
After Francisco Rodrigues dos Santos declared last year that he had bet “on the renewal of the party’s protagonists”, he also defended the restriction of the mandates of MPs “so that personal interests are not confused with public interests”.
Regarding the recent firing of more than a dozen members of the CDS board, Rodrigues dos Santos says that these are people who were not affected by his original project, but “other wings within the CDS”.
The centrist leader also criticized the government, which he accused of “being more interested in pleasing its partners on the left than in responding to problems”. Defending that it was not time to discuss his party’s domestic policy, Francisco Rodrigues dos Santos said he had “focused on specific points in the lives of the Portuguese, namely in this fight against the pandemic” and himself as a party presents leaders with the speech “truly international”, as a “young person” who “speaks to elderly people who are isolated and cannot be numbers, to be treated with the dignity they deserve and asking for more drugs, if they don’t. ” have them and palliative care instead to offer euthanasia ”.
For a post-pandemic future, Francisco Rodrigues dos Santos would like to speak of Portugal as a country that is competitive from a tax and economic point of view. “Companies are fans of our country,” declared the centrist leader. Rodrigues dos Santos suggests lowering the number of IRS levels, lowering the IRC to a rate of 19%, lowering taxes on the first job and reducing the number of civil servants (in the cultural and economic field, for example) .