A runner-up in Portuguese presidency polls, former MEP Ana Gomes, 66, has said she will not be running for a possible new term for Jair Bolsonaro.
A career diplomat with decades of experience in international negotiations, Ana Gomes gained notoriety in her country thanks to her active role in the negotiations for the independence of East Timor. Between 1999 and 2003, he was Head of Mission and Ambassador of Portugal to Indonesia.
“No, I would not go to the inauguration of President Bolsonaro. I would maintain the relationship required by diplomatic courtesy and would bet everything on the development of relations between Portugal and Brazil at the level of civil society, ”she said, in an interview with foreign journalists on Monday morning ( 18).
“Brazil is, without a doubt, a country more than a friend, it is a brother. Our relationship is intense and I would like it to be even more intense, on all levels. Now I cannot ignore, at this moment, that the President of Brazil is an individual who in Congress glorified the torturers of President Dilma, ”said the lawyer, whose husband was Portugal’s ambassador to Brazil between 2001 and 2004.
The current Portuguese president and re-election candidate Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa was one of the few heads of state who was in Brasilia when Bolsonaro took over the Brazilian government in 2018.
Ana Gomes also said she identified similarities between the speech of the Brazilian president, “divisive and unscientific, which wants to create disunity among citizens and which only sows insecurity and violence”, and that of the leader of the extreme right in Portugal, the deputy André Ventura (Enough), also candidate for the presidency.
“The emphasis here [das ações da extrema direita em Portugal] it is the attack on the gypsy community, which numbers around 50,000 people and which needs an effort of inclusion, not discrimination, ”he says.
“We even went so far as to ask for community confinement, which is absolutely intolerable. If today, they are Roma, we know how to start with a community … Then, it is the immigrants, which is absolutely intolerable in a country of emigrants. “
Historical activist of the Socialist Party, the same as that of the current Prime Minister, António Costa, Ana Gomes is standing for election as an independent. The former ambassador’s critical stance on many government actions has helped to alter relations with the prime minister, who, although he has not officially declared his support for the current president, has already made it clear that he would like to see Rebelo de Sousa, center-right, re-elected.
The candidacy of Ana Gomes, for whom time for women to occupy more space in the decision-making center of her country has attracted some names from the socialists and has the formal support of two other minor legends: PAN (People- Animals-Nature) and Libre.
“Portugal is a country where the majority of the population is made up of women. Active, skilled and resilient women who run their homes and businesses with great efficiency. It is high time that we have equal representation in all organs of power at all levels, ”he said.
The election takes place next Sunday (24), amid the country’s worst moment in the Covid-19 pandemic.
Rebelo de Sousa is a favorite for re-election. According to the latest polls of intention to vote, he must guarantee five more years to Belém Palace in the first round.
Amid a growth of the far right in the country, the second place result is seen as an important test for traditional Portuguese parties.