Independent mayors urge local authorities to change suffrage by March 31st

Mayors elected by independent movements demanded this Saturday that “the amendment of the unconstitutionality” be made by March 31, based on the changes to the municipal electoral law introduced in 2020 by PS and PSD.

“It was the parties that caused this problem, so it must be the parties that solve it,” São João da Pesqueira Mayor Manuel Cordeiro told reporters at the end of a meeting attended by 14 people (three of which via video conference)) of the 17 independents.

According to the mayor of the north of Viseu district, an audience of political parties with seats in parliament is required for this purpose, and “the minimum” they want is “a return to the minimum conditions for political participation by groups of voters”.

Manuel Cordeiro pointed out that the mayors meeting in São João da Pesqueira today are calling for “groups of electoral citizens to be able to compete for all local bodies in the same municipality,” namely the city council, the municipal assembly and the municipal assemblies.

Another requirement is that “the new wording of the law clarifies the terms of the candidacy and removes the discretion of judges in local district courts,” he added.

The mayors have already scheduled a new meeting for March 31st in Portalegre to review the decisions made by the political parties in the meantime and to find out what “the way forward” looks like.

On the possibility of creating a party that includes the independents, Porto Mayor Rui Moreira said that the mayors gathered today “believe in the good will and the word of the people”.

“Otherwise we have already explained which path we might have to take, which we don’t want,” he emphasized.

Rui Moreira recalled that “parties are the salt of democracy, but cooking is not just made with salt” and that the mayors are “a bit of the pepper of democracy”.

“And we want to continue to be different if they allow us,” he stressed, adding that if they try to restrain them, however, they will do “whatever is necessary” in front of the citizens who have chosen and want them independent alternatives.

This is because “we cannot compete in the current framework,” he complained.

Rui Moreira reiterated the terms considered minimal by the independents, though undesirable, and vowed to them that the political parties “allow them to continue to be groups of voters”.

“The PSD and the PS have made these legislative changes. We are of course happy that there is now a backlash on this matter, but first we want to understand how the vote takes place, which amendments will be approved and only then in Portalegre can assess the goodwill of the parties, ”he added.

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