Chega wants to “build alternative” government with PSD until European elections

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André Ventura said he had expressed to Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa the commitment to “start building an alternative to be ready by the European elections and in a medium-term timeframe.

The president of Chega, André Ventura, this Tuesday challenged the PSD to “build an alternative” government to the right, defending the need for an understanding until next year’s European elections.

At the end of an audience of about an hour with the President of the Republic at the Palácio de Belém in Lisbon, requested following his re-election as president of Chega at the convention in late January, André Ventura said he had expressed to Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa the commitment to “start building an alternative to be ready by the European elections and in a medium-term timeframe.

Speaking to journalists flanked by Marta Trindade, vice-president of the party, the leader of Chega said that the construction of this alternative “also depends on the PSD”, so “it has to be a work done by two”.

André Ventura indicated that he is not talking about “either coalitions or agreements”.

“When I say an alternative, nobody is going to sign any agreement. We have to give the feeling to the country, to the President, to the Portuguese, that there is an alternative if we are called to that choice,” he stressed.

Ventura indicated that he has not yet spoken with the leader of the PSD, Luís Montenegro, but argued that “more than dialogue, than phone calls and meetings, it is necessary that there begins to be a convergence in criticism and in the solution.

“What is important is not the number of times I speak on the phone with Luís Montenegro or Luís Montenegro speaks on the phone with me, but whether in the parliament, which is the house of democracy, in the action of criticism there are common points – and there have been many times, with different styles, as happened now in the Banif, in the criticism of the ministers, in the commission of inquiry – and there are also some common alternative solutions,” he argued.

Although he has not yet invited the Social Democrat leader to a meeting to address this issue, the president of Chega is convinced that it will happen: “It would be as bad if the PSD leader refused to meet with the leader of Portugal’s third largest party for no apparent reason, as he would meet with any other leader.

“I think it’s the best time for that. If Luís Montenegro doesn’t want it now, if he prefers it closer to the summer… I think the important thing is that from now on we have a political contact,” he pointed out.

The president of Chega anticipated that the regional elections in Madeira later this year may be a “first test” of the “scenario of eventual governance.”

“The President recognizes, as we also recognize, the need for an alternative. And he has already said that under no circumstances can he take any initiative that would end this majority if there is no alternative.”

André Ventura insisted that “between Chega and PSD we have to start creating an alternative”: “We cannot go to the European elections without an alternative. We cannot arrive, I dare say, to this summer, to this fall, without an alternative, and it is up to us to tell the Portuguese that.

The president of Chega also considered that “the President of the Republic is perfectly aware of this scenario.

“The President recognizes, as we also recognize, the need for an alternative. And he has already said that under no circumstances can he take any initiative that would end this majority if there is no alternative,” he indicated.

“If we don’t, we can’t complain or go around asking the President of the Republic to dissolve parliament,” he pointed out.

Questioned about the resignation of the president of the National Innovation Agency, Joana Mendonça, alleging lack of conditions to continue in the post, Ventura considered that “it shows how this climate of disintegration is underway in the highest bodies of the state apparatus and how important such an alternative is.

To journalists, the president of Chega indicated that the law on medically assisted death – recently declared unconstitutional by the Constitutional Court and consequently vetoed by Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa – was another issue addressed with the President of the Republic during the audience.

Ventura insisted on holding a referendum, saying it is “unnecessary to re-flame euthanasia and medically assisted death with a new, hastily made legislative process,” and indicated that the Chega deputies will be “demanding in the legislative process.”

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