Presidential candidate Ana Gomes has defended a close inspection of EU funds, to avoid “theft”, and told the government that she “does not even think” of going ahead with the current proposal of modify the rules of public procurement.
During a public session at the Teatro da Trindade in Lisbon, Ana Gomes was questioned by the moderator of the debate, the former RTP news director Paulo Dentinho, on the allocation of European funds that will come to Portugal in the next decade.
“This is a very urgent matter for all of us citizens: if we abandon the examination, the demand for accounts, the participation in the decisions of allocation of these funds, then we abandon the country, because then there will be thefts. , as there were in the past “warned.
The former PS deputy linked this question to the government bill, under discussion in Parliament since June, and which aims to simplify public procurement procedures, after being criticized by several entities, including the Court of Auditors.
“We must tell the government not to even think of moving forward, as it is, with this proposal to modify the public procurement regime”, he appealed, defending the strengthening of structures control.
“I’m sort of trying to understand what’s going on at the Court of Auditors, I’m very diplomatic, allow me for now …” he joked, alluding to the news of no -renewal of the current government of president of this entity, Vítor Caldeira.
“There is no crowning”
In a first intervention referring to October 5, before answering the questions of nine people previously registered, Ana Gomes made an implicit reference to the advantage in the polls of the current President of the Republic, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, who has not yet announced his candidacy. “In a Republic, there are no coronations or hasty victories, it is the people who decide”, he underlined, launching a special appeal to young people to vote in the presidential elections in January next year.
“I understand who is disillusioned with politics and politicians, but we are all called to build a better Portugal. (…) I call on young people to fight against apathy, not to abstain, not to stop being indignant, not to abandon Portugal, ”he said. Ana Gomes repeated the phrase “who governs is the government” on several occasions, but defended that “the President of the Republic” has a great capacity to influence the government and its priorities.
“Whoever we elect as President of the Republic must take care of Portugal, of everyone and in particular of those who need it most. It is intolerable to allow poverty and injustice to increase in this country because of the crisis. Children and the elderly and vulnerable must be specially protected and supported, “he said, saying that” the time has come to make democracy more demanding “.
“I am a socialist, I have never given up fighting for principles, values and common assets and I will never give up Portugal”, he assured, having in the audience the former minister of the Labor of the PS governments, Paulo Pedroso (who is part of his campaign structure), the socialist deputy Pedro Bacelar Vasconcelos and the former deputy Catarina Marcelino.
In the nearly two-hour session answering questions from nine previously chosen people – all on the stage of the theater, with Ana Gomes at the center – one of the most political focused on a possible cohabitation between a government and a socialist president of the Republic.
“It’s an independent app. I said when I announced the candidacy that I would accept any support from the democratic field, but that I would not make any commitment to anyone, ”he warned. Citing her personal and professional career, Ana Gomes claims to have demonstrated that being from the PS, she had no “peias” to criticize her political family, while she understands that “deserves to be criticized”.
There were several questions about minority rights – among the selected participants there was a Guinean student, a Portuguese woman of gypsy origin or a Syrian refugee – and the candidate was asked if she agreed with those. who say there is no racism in Portugal.
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“There is racism in Portugal and in other countries. I don’t think Portugal is more racist than other countries, but it is in denial, a country with our colonial history only has to value the diversity that we have ”, he declared .
Not referring to any of the pre-candidates announced in the race for Belém, Ana Gomes rebelled against those who “sow hatred, division and violence”. “The Constitution of the Portuguese Republic is very clear: Nazi and Fascist philosophies and actions are prohibited, and this is an aspect that must be taken into account by all State officials in Portugal, from the President of the Republic to youngest cadet of the forces. of security “.
At the end of the session, Ana Gomes reaffirmed that she would not accept financial contributions for her campaign of more than one hundred euros and challenged the other candidates to do the same.