"It's still not very credible".  Dress rehearsal for a right-wing coalition in Portugal fails

if the coalition that supported the regional government of the Azores it was a laboratory for what could be a future right-wing government in Portugal, so that test failed. This is the opinion of experts heard by CNN Portugal, who report party instability, particularly in the most recent parties, such as Chega or the Liberal Initiative.

José Filipe Pinto understands that these two parties do not have enough “reliability” to be part of a government solution. “Anyone who signs a contract and then fails to fulfill it ends up losing credibility”, points out the political scientist, given that, if the Liberal Initiative abandoned the parliamentary agreement, Chega has different positions: the sole deputy who has it is still part of the agreement, but right at the beginning of the legislature, the other elected deputy, Carlos Furtado, became independent because he understood that there were entropies in the coalition.

A situation that, in the case of Chega, could be even more harmful. José Filipe Pinto points out that André Ventura’s party presents itself at the national level as a “credible partner”, but later, in the Azores, “it shows that it is still not very credible”. This is because, despite not having torn up the parliamentary advocacy agreement, Chega suggested to the regional government that it present a motion of confidence, not making it clear how it would vote on this proposal.

“Chega and the Liberal Initiative are in a very delicate situation at the national level”, considers the specialist.

Paula do Espírito Santo sees a “lack of effectiveness and validity of a possible coalition” in the case of the Azores. The Political Science professor points out that the parties convey an image of a solution that “is not durable, has no consistency”, verifying that this problem stems from local leaders, but that it also echoes in a “national disagreement”.

“Any solution of this kind, whether local or national, will always be a risky solution, insofar as they are parties that are in the affirmation phase, especially the smaller ones”, he says, saying that all parties understand the importance of the moment and try to playing with negotiating power, not least because it has already become clear that it is not intended, at least for now, to put an end to this government solution.

All looking for the same

If Chega and Iniciativa Liberal could see their national position pinched, there are those who are trying to take advantage of the confusion to reap the rewards. This is the case of the CDS, which quickly, through the voice of its president, stated that the other two right-wing parties were immature. “What is happening in the Azores is an example that the Portuguese must retain. The CDS has contributed to political change in the Azores and is a source of stability. What is clear today is that the Liberal Initiative and Chega are politically immature and often unstable parties”, said Nuno Melo, who recalled times when the party was part of government solutions.

José Filipe Pinto sees this position as an attempt to “monetize” the position on the part of the CDS, which thus shows itself as a “reliable partner” and which works. A difference that the political scientist sees as a capacity, or not, for coalitions: “There are parties that have the capacity for coalitions, and the CDS wants to convey the image that there are parties that do not. The case of the Azores proves that both the Liberal Initiative and Enough, they don’t seem to have the ability to form a coalition to guarantee stability.”

It is what Paula do Espírito Santo sees as a need for “affirmation”, especially with the electorate. At this point, says the expert, “none of the parties has much to lose”, not least because, as already mentioned, it is not on the horizon to put an end to the government solution. “They may have the objective of dividing to try to find more bases of support for their own party identity”, she adds.

This is because Iniciativa Liberal, Chega and CDS operate in an electorate that is largely shared, not only among themselves, but also with the PSD. Positions such as those held in the Azores can serve to set the ideological agenda, says Paula do Espírito Santo: “This is a very disputed space at political and electoral level, with a base that is the same. It is time for the parties to make their own trip and walk thinking about the elections that are coming, more than thinking about a coalition that is worn out and doesn’t work.”

The role of the PSD (and the ghost of Passos)

And this eventual coalition would be easier if someone else was at the head of the PSD. Not just any one, but one in particular: Pedro Passos Coelho. José Filipe Pinto looks at the former prime minister as the “only personality capable of bringing together the entire right”.

The political scientist does not see in Luís Montenegro, current president of the Social Democrats, the ability to “unite a right-wing project”, similarly to what António Costa achieved in 2015, when he formed the contraption and provided a governing solution in which the three parties of the left reached a parliamentary advocacy agreement to put the PS in government.

“The problem is that a right-wing solution such as the contraption is not viable on the continent. It was necessary for these forces to integrate the government, and the first question is to understand whether these forces accept being a government with each other”, points out José Filipe Pinto, knowing that in the case of Chega, for example, it has already been well established that an agreement to support a government will always have to assume that party members are part of the executive, contrary to what happened with PS, Bloco de Esquerda and PCP.

Paula do Espírito Santo agrees that the party is, at the moment, incapable of being an aggregating force, not least because “it is heavily dependent on negotiation” with other political forces, which deprives it of legitimacy to assume a leadership position in the right-wing bloc. .

“The PSD still does not have the political freedom to be able to choose, apart from extreme circumstances, to be alone. It is still too early to be able to expand its political will, it is still dependent on the parties more to its right”, he reiterates.

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Deborah Acker

I write epic fantasy; self-published via KDP. Devoted dog mom to my 10 yr old GSD, Shadow! DM not a priority; slow response at best #amwriting #author.

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