Liberal Initiative, former leader and Nuno Garoupa in legislative elections

The former leader of the Liberal Initiative (IL), Carlos Guimarães Pinto, and the current president, João Cotrim de Figueiredo, are once again heads of the list for Porto and Lisbon, respectively, in the January legislative elections. The names were proposed by the executive committee to the National Council, which tonight approves the lists of candidates for deputies.

If Cotrim de Figueiredo had already been presented as head of the list by Lisbon, in the global strategy motion “Prepared to liberalize Portugal 2022” – which was approved at the IL Convention last weekend – it was still not certain that Carlos Guimarães would return to head the list of deputies for the constituency of Porto, despite his name having already been suggested as a hypothesis by Cotrim de Figueiredo and Tiago Mayan Gonçalves. “I maintain this firm conviction that I would really like to be elected deputy. I am convinced that the country would gain a lot from Carlos Guimarães Pinto as deputy,” said the former liberal candidate for Belém, in statements to Expresso.

Nuno Garoupa, a university professor and former president of the Francisco Manuel dos Santos Foundation, is the liberal’s bet for the Fora da Europa circle. He will be the only head of the independent list, although Cotrim de Figueiredo assured on Saturday that the party’s lists would be open to independents.

For the Lisbon circle, IL bets on a continuity list, featuring in second place Carla Castro, economist and coordinator of the party’s study office, who was one of the most applauded people at the Convention and who has been a constant presence at the audiences in Belém or at Infarmed meetings. Rodrigo Saraiva, communication consultant and head of the parliamentary cabinet, will be, in turn, number two on the list that IL presents to the legislatures in that constituency. He is the number two member of the party and has been one of the biggest supporters of the leader, who says he was the person “who taught him the most about politics”.

In Porto’s list, Patrícia Gilvaz, graduated in Law, and former president of the Students Association of the Faculty of Law of the University of Porto, who currently coordinates the IL de Matosinhos group, comes in second.

By Braga, IL’s executive committee presents Rui Rocha, Human Resources manager and assistant professor in Higher Education as head of the list, while in Setúbal, Marketing manager Joana Cordeiro, who was an independent candidate for IL in 2019, will head the party list by Setúbal.

In Aveiro, Cristiano Santos, a nurse specializing in mental health and psychiatry, is also back at the top of the party’s list by district.

At the VI IL Convention, which took place this weekend in Lisbon, Cotrim de Figueiredo outlined the profile of candidates for deputy, stressing that they have to combine “political competence”, “technical competence” and “oratory ability”. At the time, the re-elected leader admitted, in statements to Expresso, that he had already done the TPC and for lists and eligible places he had “more than 60 names” on the table.

For January, the liberals set a minimum goal to reach 4.5% of the vote and elect five deputies. But the parliamentary group may oscillate between “three and seven deputies”, with greater possibilities of electing in the districts of Lisbon and Porto, but also in Braga, Setúbal and Aveiro. An ambitious goal, but “realistic”, says Cotrim de Figueiredo, who has already admitted leaving the leadership, if IL does not elect more than two deputies in the legislatures.

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Liberal Initiative, former leader and Nuno Garoupa in legislative elections