Isilda Gomes returned to Portimão City Council for a few days, councilor Gambôa resigned

Socialist municipal executive lives days of great turbulence

Isilda Gomes, who had suspended his mandate as mayor of Portimão on April 30, to join the PS list in the European Parliament, resumed her position last Tuesday, the 11th, despite having been elected European deputy. With this, Álvaro Bila, who had assumed the presidency of the municipality, returned to his previous position of vice president.

Isilda Gomes' return, however, will last just over a month and, in reality, the mayor was only at Portimão City Council for two days, Tuesday and Wednesday. Yesterday, Thursday, the 13th, Isilda headed to Brussels, where she will stay until next Friday, the 21st. Afterwards and until the 15th of July, when she is due to take office as an MEP, the mayor will still be on vacation , as she herself revealed to the Sul Informação.

However, to add another touch of confusion to this whole chair dance, João Gamboa, who was the councilor responsible for the important department of Urban Management and Private Works, resigned, on the 11th, from his position.

But let's go by parts: Isilda Gomes, as mayor, is the President of the Natural Resources Committee of the Committee of the Regions, so yesterday he went to Brussels, where this body is headquartered, to “renounce this presidency”, but also to present and defend, in the plenary of the Committee of the Regions, on the 19th, “the proposal to amend the CAP post-2027 , of which I am co-rapporteur, with a Polish colleague».

In statements to the Sul Informação, Isilda explained that she will return to Portugal on the 21st, but will no longer return to the Chamber, since, afterwards, still holding the position of president of the municipality, she will «enjoy the many days of vacation that I have to enjoy, until the presentation of the resignation, which must be on July 15th».

In the meantime, Álvaro Bila will once again be only vice president (although with all the responsibility of the highest position), only assuming, definitively, the presidency of the Chamber of Portimão when the current mayor resigns for good.

As for councilor João Gambôa, he resigned from his position on June 11th. In a message, which the Sul Informação had access, sent from his personal email address to all emails of employees and mayors of the Portimão City Council, the former councilor, civil engineer and, prior to his public position, with businesses in the construction and real estate areas, expresses his unavailability to continue in the municipal executive, now that Isilda Gomes is leaving.

«In 2013, in one of the most thoughtful decisions of my life, I agreed to join the list of Isilda Gomes and Novos Rumos! Despite being in an ineligible location, Portimão needed unconditional support to save the municipality!”, recalls Gambôa.

In 2019, he adds, «I was called to the team, which focused on recovering accounts, and which made me a councilor for five years, on a land that is mine and needs sustained and qualitative development».

Now, he also says, «with this candidacy and election of Isilda Gomes to the European Parliament, deserved and a source of pride for all of us – the first European deputy from Portimão – the New Directions no longer make sense to me and I feel that I am more useful to society Portimonense in my private activity».

João Gambôa also highlights that he has always fulfilled «with loyalty what I proposed to Isilda Gomes, despite never having joined the party», that is, the PS.

In response to this departure, and while there is no new mayor, on the 11th Isilda Gomes assigned Gambôa's responsibilities to councilor José Cardoso, by order to which our newspaper also had access.

Cardoso thus receives functions in the areas of Urban Management, Private Works, Territorial Planning, Geographic Information Management, Urban Regeneration and Rehabilitation, Management of the Portimão Municipal Aerodrome, Cemetery Management and Local Housing Strategy, which he joins, at least provisionally, to the its previous areas of responsibility (Public Works, Management of maintenance and requalification of public space, Planning and Management of Mobility, Management of the Road Network, Management of Public Transport, Management of Parking Concession Contracts, Management and Maintenance of the Fleet and Workshops, Management of Community Funds and Smart Cities).

This is not the first time that councilors have resigned from their positions in a Portimão Chamber chaired by Isilda Gomes: in 2019, in the previous term, the then vice-president Joaquim Castelão Rodrigues resigned to take on the position of regional director of ICNF. This time, Filipe Vital assumed the vice presidency. It was also then that João Gambôa joined the executive.

Already in this mandate, on June 15, 2022, Filipe Vital, who was number 3 in the authority, also resigned, allegedly to continue his professional life in the private sector. At this time, he joined the executive José Cardoso, number 6 on the PS list.

Last April, when Isilda Gomes suspended her position to run for the European Parliament, Sandra Pereira joined as the new socialist councilor who, for now, according to the Chamber's website, remains without assigned responsibilities.

However, when the mayor resigns once and for all from her top position in the Municipality to take over the European Parliament, it will be necessary for another person to join the council from the PS list.

The gentleman below, who was number 8 on the list in the 2021 Municipal Elections, is Eduardo Catarino, who was responsible for the Delta Group in the Algarve, for many years, and recently retired. Next comes Amélia Garcias, nurse and daughter of the late and historic mayor of Portimão Martim Gracias. It remains to be seen which of them will take over the council. Or if none of them will.

In the permanent executive of the Municipality of Portimão, the PS has a majority, with five of the nine seats (president plus four councilors). The remaining four, without any assigned responsibilities, are Rui André and Ana Fazenda (PSD), Luís Carito (Coligação Portimão Mais Feliz) and Pedro Xavier (Chega).



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