Ricardo Clemente, who was the head of the PS list to the Albufeira Chamber, is the 4th councilor who guarantees a majority to the executive of President José Carlos Rolo (PSD). He was the one who confirmed it in exclusive statements to the Sul Informação.
Let's explain what is happening: in the Local Elections of September 26, the social democrat José Carlos Rolo won the Chamber, but without a majority, since the PSD elected only 3 of the 7 seats in the municipal executive. The rest were for the PS (2), for the Independent Movement Albufeira Primeira, by Desidério Silva (1) and for the movement Albufeira Prometida, by Abel Zua (1). Even holding the presidency, having been the most voted candidacy, if the opposition united, Rolo could do little or nothing, making the Albufeira Council ungovernable.
Therefore, on the night of the swearing-in, the mayor announced to the Sul Informação which he was in negotiations with "an elected one", without saying which one. When Desidério and Zua were contacted, it was concluded that there would be none of them, so there was only one councilor elected by the socialists. What is now confirmed.
In his statements to our newspaper, Ricardo Clemente said that accepting this place in the council, with permanent functions, is "a personal decision".
When, on election night, the head of the PS list again lost the Chamber to the PSD, for the second time, this time by a difference of 6,38% (986 votes), Ricardo Clemente said he had thought of «resigning the mandate ». "But I had some pressure not to do it, by the head of the local council of the PS," he added.
When he received the first contact from the Social Democrat José Carlos Rolo to sound him out about the possibility of joining the permanent executive, "I took this message to the party and expressed my willingness to accept". However, as would be expected, “a malaise was generated” in the PS from Albufeirense, which created “a group for negotiations with the PSD”, to which he did not invite Ricardo Clemente.
“They made negotiations behind my back without my having participated in them. So I was the candidate, showed up and then left me out? That gives me the right to make the decision I made”, he stresses.
Now, Ricardo Clemente, who has been a member of the PS “for thirty years”, admits that he will suffer sanctions from the party, right away the “withdrawal of political confidence”.
“From the moment I am betrayed in that way [by the PS Council], I have the right to take this decision”, he reinforced.
And why then did you accept the place in the permanent council? "I do it for Albufeira", to "prevent the instability" that would otherwise be experienced in the City Council, he explained.
Ricardo Clemente will be responsible for Financial Management, Tenders and Financing, Municipal Police and Security, Green Spaces, Fairs and Markets, Cemeteries and Toponymy.
But don't think that this come back is unprecedented in Albufeira or even exclusive to a member of the PS.
In 1997, the Social Democrat Desidério Silva, when he ran for the Council of Albufeira for the first time, did not win, but was elected councilor. At the time, the executive PS, led by Arsénio Catuna, did not have a majority, as it only elected three councilors, against two from the CDS (then the second most voted force) and another two from the PSD.
The socialist Arsénio Catuna then made an agreement with Desidério, who assumed the position of permanent councilor, making the executive viable. Desidério was left with "important" areas of responsibility such as Urbanism, Transport and Sanitation, as reported by the local newspaper A Avezinha, in 1998 (see article above).
Irony of fate: which Trojan Horse, in the following Municipal Elections, in 2001, Desidério Silva, who won four terms for the PSD, defeated Catuna, who only managed three for the PS.
Now, almost a quarter of a century later, the roles are reversed and it is a councilor of the PS making viable a minority executive of the PSD. We will see what the consequences are in the next elections of 2025…