Despite the pandemic and shutdown, Portugal is electing a new president. The new one should be the old one.
After five years in office, the previous rule in the country also applies to Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa: Presidents are re-elected for a second term.
The conservative politician was always approachable, doesn’t live in the presidential palace and can often be found swimming on the beach in the morning. The fact that he is called the “Selfie” President is due to his constant desire to pose for photos with everyone, not just on the beach.
Others simply call the former television commentator by his first name: Marcelo or “Professor”. The constitutional lawyer also has a degree in politics and economics and is considered an intellectual with good connections to the population.
Political formula: “Continue as before”
Although the office of President is representative, it is also linked to the right to dissolve parliament – and the duty to act as an arbitrator or reconciler in times of crisis.
According to surveys, what the Portuguese like about Rebelo de Sousa is that, as a conservative, he always has a critical eye on the left-wing government, but at the same time works pragmatically with it. Most recently in the corona pandemic, which Portugal has now caught up with full force after coping well in spring.
The “balance of power” seems to please the Portuguese. De Sousas also made constant assurances that, as a Catholic, he stood up vehemently for a secular state, for freedom and against corruption and clientele politics. His election promise can be summed up with the formula “continue as before”. He wants to reconcile, he says, and continue to work on the economic upswing, leaving no one behind.
De Sousa is clearly ahead
Critical voices about the incumbent president can hardly be heard. In his own ranks he is sometimes accused of needing harmony towards the left, but knowing that what is forgiving is owed to the office. Rebelo de Sousa is only criticized really harshly by André Ventura. He is the only far-right and anti-establishment parliamentarian for the Chega! (Enough!) »And thus still a new phenomenon in Portugal.
Ventura is also running for president and comes in third in polls out of a total of seven candidates. He is behind the former socialist Ana Gomes, who is now running as an independent. Both are far behind Rebelo de Sousa, however.
Second ballot possible
At most, a low voter turnout could be half dangerous for the president. Be it because in Covid-19 times the desire to go to the polls is limited, be it because you are already expecting a clear outcome in your favor.
If he does not achieve the absolute majority of the votes, there will be a second ballot. But even then, the incumbent president can calmly look forward to his future for a second term.