CDS leader tries to close Monteiro as deputy

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Francisco Rodrigues dos Santos did not give up on the idea of ​​counting on Manuel Monteiro as a candidate for deputy in the next legislative elections. The two talked about the solution, the former leader of the CDS has already expressed his reservations and anxieties, and Rodrigues dos Santos was left to find a solution to frame Monteiro as a possible electoral asset. But not at any price.

The Observer knows that Manuel Monteiro will have transmitted to Francisco Rodrigues dos Santos some resistance in embracing the challenge if the current president of the CDS did not give an unmistakable sign of an effort to unite the party and reintegrate the party. portism. In his head, Monteiro made it known that he wanted figures like Nuno Melo and Cecília Meireles were recaptured and were part of the solution.

Moreover, the former leader of the CDS made this appeal public when, in statements to the weekly edition of Expresso, he asked for a “effort” in this sense. “If I feel that there is an effort to involve all people, including former presidents, former ministers, former leaders and critics, to contribute to the CDS’ political affirmation, I would be available”, acknowledged the preceding Christian Democrat to Paulo Portas in the leadership of the CDS.

However, the two already spoke on the issue and Monteiro, who returned to the party precisely at the hand of Francisco Rodrigues dos Santos, will have expressed a desire to return to Parliament alongside Nuno Melo and cadres such as Cecília Meireles, a solution rejected in theory by the current president of the CDS.


This Monday, in an interview with RTP, Francisco Rodrigues dos Santos even said that Manuel Monteiro would be a “trump wings” of the CDS in these legislative elections. “I have a lot of personal sympathy for Manuel Monteiro. He is a reputable, credible and serious person who shares with me this vision of the CDS as a popular party. IT’S natural that there is a desire to count on Manuel Monteiro, who would be an ace of trump card.”

However, in the conversation for two, Manuel Monteiro will have even mentioned the importance of seeing Paulo Portas in the party’s campaign, which, given the history of rivalry between the two, was unlikely to happen—and that’s to say the least.

The noise created around this scenario is already creating some resistance towards the CDS. Among those closest to Rodrigues dos Santos, Manuel Monteiro’s declarations to Expresso didn’t go down well and there are those who see in the demands that Francisco Rodrigues dos Santos is making the beginning of a move bigger to position itself in the future.

The reading goes like this: Manuel Monteiro will not ignore the relationship between Francisco Rodrigues dos Santos’ block and what remains of the portism it is beyond saving power; any talk of union between factions will be unreasonable at this point in the championship; therefore, to make a return to Parliament depend on a armistice between the parties is knowing that this return is doomed from the start. At the end of the day, Manuel Monteiro will always be able to claim that he wanted to help and that the current management did not do its part.

In case it wants to come to dispute the CDS leadership in the future — a hypothesis that Monteiro has been rejecting in every interview — a strategy of this nature would allow politically capitalize an eventual bad result of Rodrigues dos Santos in the legislatives and making the former Christian Democrat president a man of possible consensus between blocks that have long disagreed within the CDS.

Be that as it may, and despite growing distrust, the CDS management has not given up on relying on Manuel Monteiro only, and only if it is betting that it will have a cost-benefit ratio reasonable. Nothing goes and those closest to the CDS leader are deeply convinced that Rodrigues dos Santos will never put himself in the hands of Manuel Monteiro.

Apart from who may or may not accompany the former president on the list of deputies, there is also the question of the constituency: less than 72 hours from definitively closing the list of candidates for deputies, the only thing certain is that Francisco Rodrigues dos Santos will head the party’s list in Lisbon. Everything else is open. In the event that the stars align to the point where Manuel Monteiro is a candidate, the districts of Porto and, above all, of Braga could be hypotheses to fit the former leader of the CDS.

For a party that managed to elect only five deputies in the 2019 legislatives and which, according to all polls carried out so far, should be below that target in the next elections, all seats count and it is important not violate their own internal logics just to accommodate an eventual Monteiro candidacy.

Even because Francisco Rodrigues dos Santos intends to include in the lists people from his direction — such as Filipa Correia Pinto, Pedro Melo, Cecília Anacoreta Correia or Martim Borges de Freitas — and also to respect the will of some structures that have shown themselves loyal to his leadership. . All in all, the scope for experimentation is reduced.

Whatever happens, Francisco Rodrigues dos Santos has until Wednesday, the date when another National Council of the party is held, to close and approve the lists of candidates for deputies. And time is running against the Christian Democrat leader: after having nurtured the expectation of going in alliance with Rui Rio in these legislatives, the president of the CDS turned out to be surprised by the retreat of the social democrat and must now adapt to new circumstances

For the rest, the turnaround ended up dominating a large part of Rodrigues dos Santos’ intervention in the last CDS National Council, which took place this Sunday. Behind closed doors, the Christian Democrat leader accused Rui Rio of having given a “pirouette” in the path that the PSD had followed until then (coalition in the Azores or dozens of alliances in the local authorities) to rehearse a solo candidacy in these legislative sessions.

“This PSD decided to be closer António Costa than Sá Carneiro”, criticized Francisco Rodrigues dos Santos, after having argued that voting for the CDS is the only way to guarantee that there is no central bloc between PS and PSD.

In the aforementioned interview to RTP, 24 hours after the National Council on Sunday, Francisco Rodrigues dos Santos once again denounced the “pirouette” by Rui Rio and suggested that only the vote in the CDS can avoid the reinforcement of a PSD that wants to be “increasingly socialist”. “PSD chose the hardest way to build this alternative to PS.”

In this intervention with the party councilors, Rodrigues dos Santos also guaranteed that the internal critics and the “little friends” who circulate in newsrooms and in opinion spaces will have another “unpleasant surprise” on January 30 because, argued the leader of the CDS, the party “will have a good result” in the legislative sessions.

*Article updated at 8:54 pm with statements by Francisco Rodrigues dos Santos to RTP

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CDS leader tries to close Monteiro as deputy