The mayor of Castro Marim told Lusa this Tuesday, March 21, that he intends to leave political activity at the end of his term, in 2025, when he has completed 32 years in office as mayor.
Francisco Amaral (PSD) recalled that, after 20 years at the head of the Alcoutim Chamber and having assumed, in 2013, the presidency of the neighboring municipality of Castro Marim, he is currently «the longest-serving mayor» of a municipality in Portugal , with three decades of consecutive exercise of functions and «victories in all disputed electoral acts».
The law limiting the terms of mayors was approved in 2005, but without retroactive effect, which allowed the mayor, a doctor by profession, to remain in office in Alcoutim from 1993 until 2013, the year in which he ran successfully for the Chamber presided over since then: that of Castro Marim.
"I'm going to lean on the boxes, although they're pushing me to [run again for] Alcoutim and to [run for] Vila Real [de Santo António]. But, at this moment, I think of my grandchildren, I already have a grandson aged 18, who passed me by, and now I have a five-year-old, who I don't want to pass me by", he replied, when asked if he equated the reform at the end of the third and last term in Castro Marim.
Despite leaving political activity and wanting to enjoy his family more, Francisco Amaral, 67, also wants to continue dedicating himself to Medicine, his training area, and his leisure activities, fishing and the vegetable garden, said.
«But there is one thing that I do not want to divorce, which is Medicine, I want to continue going to the Hospital de Faro, I want to go to a mobile health unit around the mountains – whether in Castro Marim or Alcoutim – two days a week», he stressed.
Since 1999, the mayor has been a volunteer doctor in General and Family Medicine at the Centro Hospitalar do Algarve, currently also providing home medical service in Alcoutim and Castro Marim, both in the extreme east of the Algarve, on the border with southern Spain.
Francisco Amaral took the opportunity to remember his journey in the municipality of Castro Marim, considering that «it was not easy» at the beginning, due to financial limitations and a majority opposition that prevented the executive from taking action.
The mayor stressed that it was then possible to "turn the situation around", when he asked for his resignation to force the holding of mid-term elections, which returned to the PSD the absolute majority it had lost in 2013.
Now, and despite having been asked to run for other municipalities, the dean of Portuguese mayors reveals his intention to leave politics at the end of his term, in 2025, when he concludes his third and last four-year term in Castro Marim.
Before being elected as mayor, he was a family doctor at the Alcoutim Health Center, between 1982 and 1993, having also served as deputy of the Assembly of the Republic and member of the Committee of the Regions of Europe.