The deputy Luís Graça and the mayor of Loulé Vítor Aleixo are the two candidates for the presidency of the Regional Federation of PS Algarve, whose elections take place on 5 November, in all the Algarve municipalities.
For almost 20 years, since 2003, with the dispute between Miguel Freitas, Luis Carito and Manuela Neto, the leadership of PS Algarve was not the target of several candidates. At that time, the winner turned out to be Miguel Freitas.
In the case of Luís Graça, it is a re-application, as he is the current president of the Algarve PS. In the letter sent to Socialist Party militants in the region and to the media, presenting his re-candidacy, Luís Graça points out that «today the Algarve has 300 million euros» to «diversify its economic base».
On the other hand, the current deputy adds that «health has always been our main priority and the new Hospital Central e Universitário do Algarve our flag», a fight that, he considers, is bearing fruit, since «the Council of Ministers decided, on the 29th of September, to proceed with the process».
«It is an act of justice for the Algarve, which rewards the struggle of the Algarve socialists, their mayors and health professionals», adds Luís Graça in his letter to the activists.
«To the most important social equipment for the region, there is, in Lagos, the new Hospital Terras do Infante, already in operation, the future cancer center in Parque das Cidades, the renovation of health centers, with funding guaranteed in the PRR, and the already approved increase in the number of students at the Faculty of Medicine of the Algarve».
All of this leads the PS/Algarve presidential candidate to say: «I feel that our opinion is respected by the national leadership of the Socialist Party, that we have the ability to influence our elected officials in the Government and offer political conditions to the municipalities, where we need to have organization and ambition to win the next municipal elections».
Vítor Aleixo has a different opinion, who says he decided to go ahead with his candidacy "after consideration", affirming himself "for the revitalization and dynamization of the internal political life of our party, in order to strengthen it to better defend the interests of the region and of the Algarve, in a perspective of solidarity with the political options of national governance».
His candidacy, underlines Vítor Aleixo, «translates the will of all those who defend that the party needs to be more present in the life of the municipalities, in a close relationship with the militants, to debate policies, discuss projects and better serve the Algarve» , in their “biggest needs, such as public health, the social area, education and, in particular, climate action and water”.
Aleixo emphasizes that «for approximately 20 years the PS leadership has not been disputed with a confrontation of ideas and projects», which he considers to be the «only» way that dignifies «the image of political parties in Democracy».
The candidate also refers to his vast political curriculum: «with almost 40 years of militancy in the PS, 16 of them in municipal functions in the Loulé Chamber, always honoring the causes and values of democratic socialism and contributing to the increase of the prestige of PS in the county and in the region».
For all this, adds Vítor Aleixo in the letter addressed to the Algarve PS militants and published in the candidacy wall on facebook, «my proposal is summarized in an idea: to continue with dedication to serve the PS and the public good».
Elections for the presidency of the PS Federation in the Algarve are scheduled for the 5th of November. Members registered up to six months before the date of the election and who, by October 21 (fifteen days before), have their quotas paid, can vote.
In addition to the election of the president of the Federation, the election of delegates to the PS Algarve Congress is also taking place, which will take place later and where the remaining bodies will be elected.
Corrected at 209:58 on the 19th, removing the incorrect reference to another previous candidacy of Aleixo.