This could just be the story of a “normal” takeover. Don't be fooled: what you're going to read will be the account of a night that had everything: tears, applause, messages, tied and repeated votes and also the guarantee, left by the mayor of Albufeira, that he has an agreement with «a elected” to have a majority in the executive. It's just not known with whom and even what seemed to be natural, maybe not.
Municipal Auditorium, 15th of October, 19:15.
In the audience, hundreds of people watched the beginning of an inauguration of the elected local authorities, who were already known to have doubled points of interest.
The elections, in Albufeira, were close to the end.
On election night, the PS came to be ahead, but the victory ended up going to José Carlos Rolo, of the “Ser Albufeira” coalition (PSD/CDS/MPT/PPM), who won without an absolute majority: the Social Democrats succeeded only three of the seven councilors.
The PS won two and Desidério Silva (Independent Movement for Albufeira – MIPA ) and Abel Zua (Albufeira Prometida – AP) were also elected to the executive.
In the Municipal Assembly, it was also all scrambled: the PSD elected 7 deputies, the PS as many, MIPA 4, Albufeira Prometida two and Chega just one.
In none of the bodies is there an absolute majority and what happened in the election of the Municipal Assembly was the mirror of this difficulty.
There were two lists to vote: one from the PS, headed by Francisco Oliveira, with Carla Madeira (1st secretary) and André Lima (2nd secretary), and one from MIPA, led by Raul Ferreira and with the curiosity of having two members of the PSD: Cláudia Raimundo (1st secretary) and José Vila Nova (2nd secretary).
Those who watched, soon noticed the apparent “tactic” of the MIPA and the PSD in joining together to try to win the Municipal Assembly. But, adding the votes also of the presidents of the Parish Council, who, inherently, have a seat in the AM, the vote…gave a tie: 12 votes for each list with one blank.
The law says that, when this is the case, the voting will have to be uninominal for the three positions (president, 1st and 2nd secretary). The candidates remained the same and from this second vote… another tie came out: 12 each and one blank.
The amazement in the room was general.
For a moment, it was even thought that a new vote would be taken.
Without Paulo Freitas, who left in tears as president of the Municipal Assembly, it was Adriano Ferrão who chaired the installing commission: the member of the PSD coalition read the law and came to the conclusion that, in case of a tie in the single-member voting, the member of the political force with the most votes in the Elections is elected.
The PS celebrated: Francisco Oliveira was elected president of the Municipal Assembly, with loud applause and shouts of “cheers”. Beside him, the defeated Raul Ferreira soon greeted him.
Two more single-member votes followed. For 1st secretary, after another tie (12-12 and one blank), Cláudia Raimundo was elected, since the PSD had more votes than the PS in the Autárquicas.
When everything was ready for a draw, the election of the 2nd secretary brought news: José Vila Nova (PSD) won with 13 points against 11… and one blank.
José Carlos Rolo, the mayor who had already taken office and who elected urban requalification, climate change and housing as priorities, watched it all on the stage of the Municipal Auditorium, flanked by the rest of the executive.
In his speech a few minutes before, he had already left some messages. "We are starting a mandate that, contrary to what some want to predict, is to fulfill until the end!", he guaranteed.
And he added: «don't imagine anyone who tries to do futurology on behalf of others. I ask everyone to put Albufeira ahead of their personal interests».
As seen by the Municipal Assembly, the life of José Carlos Rolo, "used to work hard", in theory, will not be easy.
Or is it?
In statements to the Sul Informação, at the end of the swearing-in session, close to 22 pm, the mayor left something new: “I have an agreement with an elected member”, something that will allow him to have an absolute majority in the executive.
“For next week we will know who it is. I'll make the agenda to take the issue to the Chamber meeting and have one more elected on a permanent basis», guaranteed José Carlos Rolo.
By voting for the table of the Municipal Assembly, in which the PSD was part of the MIPA list, by Desidério Silva, it would be logical to gauge who is "the elected" that Rolo speaks of.
But, also in statements to our newspaper, Desidério, who was once mayor of Albufeira, was perentory. “No, there is no agreement. There wasn't even any conversation with me with the president».
And Abel Zua, former commander of the Albufeira Fire Department, who also ran as an independent and was elected councilor?
"We are always available and at the disposal of our land, but at the moment there is no coalition", he assured the Sul Informação.
It remains for us to wait for the future of this unfinished story.
Photos: Pedro Lemos | Sul Informação