PR says 2024 will be an even more decisive year and calls for participation in the elections

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The President of the Republic considers that 2024 will be an even more decisive year than 2023 and called on the Portuguese to participate in the elections, stressing that the country will be what the voters want it to be.

These positions were conveyed by Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa in his traditional New Year’s message, at a time of political crisis, with the government in administration and early parliamentary elections scheduled for March 10.

In his seventh New Year’s message – he didn’t do it in 2021 because he was running again in that year’s presidential elections – broadcast live from the Sala das Bicas of the Belém Palace in Lisbon, the head of state referred to António Costa’s resignation as prime minister on November 7.

“It was clear that, after the legitimate personal decision to leave office of the second longest-serving head of government in a democracy and the longest in this century, we should all be attentive and motivated for the elections in March, to understand how the immediate time in Portugal will be, both in terms of evaluation and choice,” said the President of the Republic.

For Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, “2023 ended with more and more difficult challenges than those with which it had begun”.

“But democracy is never afraid to give the people their say, and that’s how it differs from dictatorship. Portuguese people, 2024 will largely be what the voters, in a democracy, want it to be. In Portugal, in March; in Europe, in June; in the world’s biggest power, in November; and before that, in February, in the Azores. A year, after all, even more decisive than 2023,” warned the head of state.

Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa pointed out that everyone wishes that this year could be different from 2020 and 2021, with the pandemic, from 2022 and 2023 with the wars”.

“In other words, it can finally be one of greater hope in the world, of greater hope in Europe, and therefore also of greater hope among us,” he added.

Earlier, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa pointed out that in Portugal, in the last year, “it has become clear that correct accounts, greater growth and employment, people’s skills and investment and exports are essential”.

“But it was also clear that growth without social justice, that is, without reducing poverty and inequalities between people and territories, is not sustainable. It was clear that effective access to health, education, housing and social solidarity is key to social justice and growth. It was clear that public administration and justice can make a difference in these years when we have unrepeatable and urgently needed European funds,” he added.

In his message, which lasted about seven minutes, the President of the Republic recalled that 2024 will mark the 50th anniversary of the April 25 revolution that overthrew the Estado Novo dictatorship and that “half a century ago, at this time, on January 1, 1974, the end of 1973, in Portugal, the accounts were no longer certain, the first oil shock was shaking the economy, the situation in Africa was rapidly deteriorating, and those who emigrated exceeded one million.”

“Half a century ago, with censorship and no freedom of organization and political action, it wasn’t possible to vote freely, and those who could vote were only two million out of about ten. And those who voted all belonged to a single party, which was called a political association,” he said, before calling for people to vote in the regional elections in the Azores, the legislative elections and the European elections.

The head of state said he knew that “voting is not everything”, but stressed that “without voting there is no freedom and no democracy”.

“We know that all democracies, including ours, are unfinished, imperfect, unequal. They should be about less poverty, less injustice, less corruption, less disappointment for the younger generation, more places to work and live for the younger generation. What is expected and demanded of the next fifty years is much more than what has been achieved in the years ending in 2024. Not least because times are and will always be faster, more demanding and more difficult,” he warned.

In his view, the beginning of the next cycle of 50 years of democracy “is today, it’s now, it’s now, with the decision on the direction for the Azores, for Portugal, for Europe”.

In the initial part of his message, the President noted that last year, on January 1st, he advocated that 2023 could be decisive in the world, in Europe and in Portugal – “and it was”.

“It has become clear to the world that the war in Ukraine is about to last. It’s also clear that an old conflict, a clash between two peoples, both wanting the same land, has once again turned into open warfare in the Middle East. It was clear that we should all be paying close attention to the American elections in November, so that we can see how the immediate time in the world is going to be, in wars as well as in the economy. In Europe, it’s clear that growth is slowing down – even in the strongest societies,” he said.

With regard to Portugal, “it was clear that everyone must be attentive and motivated”.

“Because we vote in the European elections, for those elections, to understand how the immediate time in Europe is going to be, in fear, as in openness, and in economic recovery,” he added.

Moti Shabi
Moti Shabi
Moti Shabi

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