Costa argues that “no one should stay at home”

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The Prime Minister today called for people to vote, stressing that there is no better way to celebrate democracy on the 50th anniversary of April 25, and admitted that he will manage the anxiety of election night with a ‘puzzle’.

Speaking to journalists after casting his vote at the José Salvado Sampaio School in Lisbon, António Costa stressed that these elections are being held in the year in which Portugal celebrates the 50th anniversary of April 25.

“There is surely no better way to celebrate our democracy than by exercising the right to vote. My appeal to everyone, to those who haven’t yet done so, is to vote, to choose, to decide,” he said.

The chief executive said that “there is a very diverse range of parties on offer” and that “everyone, in their own conscience, will know what the best solution for the future is”, insisting that it is “essential that no one stays at home and lets others decide”.

“It’s important to express the confidence we have in our institutions, in our democracy. The vote of confidence in the Portugal of April is to vote, and that’s what I want everyone to do,” he stressed, also thanking the “thousands of citizens” who are at the polling stations, the “security forces” and “everyone who is allowing the elections to take place in total normality” throughout the country.

Asked where he will spend election night, António Costa stressed that he hasn’t lived an election day without being a candidate for 30 years, comparing his current situation to that of a soccer player who becomes a fan.

“I was fortunate enough to attend many games alongside Eusébio and today I can better understand how nervous he was when he was sitting in the stands. He had a towel that he would twist and twist. I don’t have a towel, but I think I’ll concentrate on a puzzle to manage my anxiety,” he joked.

Asked if he would be present at the Lisbon hotel where the PS election night is taking place today, the Prime Minister replied: “If the result isn’t good, I’ll certainly be there to express my solidarity, but if the result is what I want, nobody needs me for the party.”

Speaking to journalists, António Costa was also asked if, had he known what he knows today, he would have resigned as Prime Minister, and replied that “there are duties of conscience that don’t have a moment”.

“I explained why I felt it was my duty to resign from the post I was holding because I also have a duty to protect the institutions and a prime minister cannot and should not be under suspicion,” he said, adding that subsequent decisions – namely the calling of elections – were beyond him, although he didn’t think this discussion should be reopened.

“The elections were scheduled, they were disputed, now what matters is that people vote and make their choice,” he said.

When asked if, in two years’ time, he intends to run for President of the Republic, Costa completely ruled out the possibility, stressing that he has a vocation for “executive functions”.

“These presidential functions are not my style, to comment on what others do, to give opinions on what others should do. That’s not really my style or my way of being in politics. Rest assured: in two years’ time no one will have to bother coming to vote for me,” he said, stressing that his future is not at stake today, after being asked if he aspires to be the next president of the European Council.

More than 10.8 million Portuguese are called to vote today to elect 230 deputies to the Portuguese Parliament.

Eighteen political forces, 15 parties and three coalitions are running in these elections.

Moti Shabi
Moti Shabi
Moti Shabi

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