The municipality structure of Chega na Moita collapsed on the last night and the six elected mayors this Friday became independents, namely the councilor, Ivo Pedaço, two municipal deputies and three members of the parish councils. The coordinator also left the party. Thus, Chega loses its fourth councilor since the September elections, when it elected 19, and remains without any council in the district of Setúbal.
In a statement, the Moita district group justifies the decision to slam the door “essentially for the management of expectations”. “We believed that we belonged to a party where we would have space for the debate of ideas and to be the voice of the local population and the guarantee that we would defend local interests against the economic interests and political careerism, not compatible with the party doctrine proclaimed by Chega in the fight against corruption, cronyism and the obscure interests that guide Portuguese politics”lê-se.
At five points, the core begins by invoking a “attempt to influence the favorable vote of the councilor in the face of personal and financial interests of a member of the district of Setúbal and of an investor presented by him”. Such an attempt was “ignored” but did not fail to “shock” the signatories. Second, they complain that “the party leadership or district never participated in a campaign for Moita” and “did not provide support during or after the campaign”.
New airport, Bullfighting Day and “disrespect for local structures”
Later, during the legislative campaign, Bruno Nunes, then head of the list for Setúbal and now an elected deputy, announced on a visit to Moita that Chega would defend the Ota alternative as the location of the new Lisbon airport. “It was a shock to see that he did not defend a solution for the district, but the solution that was rejected by several studies several years ago and that only favors real estate interests in the municipalities north of the Tagus, namely the municipality of Loures”, describe. In addition to being part of Chega’s parliamentary bench, Bruno Nunes is the party’s national municipal coordinator and councilor in the Loures Chamber.
Fourth, they declare that the municipality informed the district and national of the celebrations in the village of the Dia da Tauromaquia, on February 26, “since one of the party’s flags is the defense of the rural world and traditions”. “We got no response […] and what amazement we were when on the day we found several elected deputies from Chega who chose to ignore the only elected councilor in the district”, they report, in a manifestation of “disrespect for local party structures” that they classify as “very serious”.
In the last point, those elected to resign claim to be “faithful to their principles and to the mandate for which they were elected” and ensure that “will not give in to agreements with other parties in the future”.
Expresso tried to contact Ivo Pedaço, but without success. In addition to the councilor, Rui Proença and Bruno Mendes, deputies of the Municipal Assembly, João Pires, member of the Parish Assembly of Moita, Vera Duarte, member of the Assembly of the Union of Parishes Baixa da Banheira and Vale da Amoreira, Pedro Galha, member of the Alhos Vedros Parish Assembly, and João Paulo Gaspar, coordinator of the municipality.
Four councilors became independents in less than half a year
Last month, Chega removed political trust from elected councilors in Sesimbra and Seixal. Both made CDU municipal budgets viable and, in the case of Sesimbra, the councilor accepted a role, that of Civil Protection, justified the party’s president, André Ventura. Strictly speaking, Márcio Souza, elected in Sesimbra, had already declared himself independent in December, speaking of “total disagreement with the way the party operates”. A few days after the announcement of the withdrawal of political trust, Henrique Freire, elected in Seixal, also clarified that it was he who left the party and “not the other way around”. In a note sent to the press, the councilor, two municipal deputies and two members of parish assemblies, all elected by Chega no Seixal, said that “the cult of the leader” has been intensified in Ventura’s party.
Of the 19 councilors elected by the party in the municipal councils in September, 15 remain. In November, Cidália Figueira, elected in Moura, alleged “political differences” and “some disagreements” with Chega to become independent.
This Saturday, the party will hold its second Convention of Mayors, in Lisbon, which will be attended, among others, by Bruno Nunes and André Ventura and by Jaime Nogueira Pinto as a guest.