The President of the Republic defended today a review of the electoral law, as it proves to be “rigid” in times of a pandemic, and the “timely reconsideration” of the day of reflection on the eve of the elections.
Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa took advantage of the usual message of appeal to vote, today on television and radio, to advance the suggestion on these two issues, along with the lack of a health emergency law, when taking stock of the campaign for some legislative elections, which are “different”, starting with being held in times of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Different, because, in them, we confirmed the importance of the advance vote, suggesting the opportune reconsideration of the day of reflection, designed for another time and for other concerns”, he said.
These are different elections because, in his opinion, “the lack of a health emergency law” was confirmed, which he himself spoke about a year ago, before the presidential ones, already in a pandemic, and “the need to review the electoral law, so rigid that it excludes voting outside of Sundays and holidays, and does not allow flexible hours, thus closing the door to exceptional situations».
To avoid agglomeration of people on election day, the Government organized early mobility voting on Sunday, and to allow those in isolation to vote, it created a specific time, between 18:00 pm and 19:00 pm, for these people to vote. .
Since 1975, there has been a day of reflection in Portugal, which prevents the direct appeal to vote by party formations and which, in practice, is a day of pause in the campaign before election day.
When looking at the electoral campaign weeks, the President also pointed out differences in the way in which the discussion between candidates and candidacies was carried out.
«We confirmed an unprecedented audience in the numerous and mobilizing debates and interviews, in classic and new digital media, witnessing the high commitment of parties and their leaders and the professionalism of journalists, and advising greater care in those who think to return, in the future, to a few and selective audiovisual debates», he exemplified.
And he pointed to the “serenity” as everything went “in the month following the call for the elections, and a pre-campaign and campaign, in some points, very different from the traditional ones, because of the pandemic”, to which was added the “evident civility, effective respect for diversity, and even warm solidarity, in more sensitive situations and episodes».
More than 10,8 million voters are called to vote in Sunday's legislative elections, brought forward after the State Budget is overturned, to elect 230 deputies to the Assembly of the Republic.
This is the 16th time, since 1976, that the Portuguese have voted in parliamentary elections, in a democracy.
Currently, there are nine parties represented in parliament – PS, PSD, Left Bloc, PCP, CDS-PP, Greens, People-Animals-Nature (PAN), Liberal Initiative (IL) and Chega.