By Raquel Abecasis
It has not been an easy leadership since taking over the PAN territories in 2021 and the next meeting promises to be very difficult for Inês Sousa Real. The party’s sole deputy in Parliament, Sousa Real has been heavily criticized over the past two years, starting with the party’s electoral malpractices in last year’s elections, which fell out of favor with the machine (from the four-member parliamentary group, the PAN came back as the second runner-up), criticizing the way it is “fooling” the party and ending with the accusation that it is disrupting a political group that presents itself as a “breath of fresh air” in the political world.
Nelson Silva, the former deputy of PAN and a former member of Inês Sousa Real’s committee, is the man who promises to make life difficult for the current leader in the next congress. On his side, there are many people who are not satisfied with this small party which already has the same problems as the previous parties.
Sousa Real’s opponents regret the path the party has taken since 2021 and fear that if this continues, the PAN may leave Parliament in the upcoming election which many believe will be given. “This is what will happen if things don’t change too much.” Speaking to Nascer do SOL, Nelson Silva regrets that the party has lost “disrespect and the ability to write policies and new banners”.
For all this, Inês Sousa Real responds with the gains that have been confirmed in this year of the parliament in which “the events of many people are difficult for the opposition to work”. Instead, the deputy of the PAN alone wrote the findings: an increase to 30 years in the case of child abuse, the end of unpaid education and an additional budget of 30 million for the protection of animals.
But if the achievements are so great, why are they criticized?
Sousa Real confirms that the criticisms are baseless and says that everything has been done so that the party can regain electoral weight.
The opposition, on the other hand, in the movement ‘More PAN, to do the reform’ that the opposition will take the congress, they say that it is necessary to heal «lost loyalty» and refocus the party on its natural side, bringing «now. important” to political discussion.
For all of this, the PAN leader is responding with statistics and legislative proposals that are presented to the parliament, accusing the opposition of not knowing about the work that has been done. And he adds that “it is important to know that a party with one supporter does not have the power to implement policies”, so, because of the situation, it is not possible to do more and better.
“We are not in politics to protect the Government”, argues Nelson Silva in criticizing the way the current leader managed the position of PAN in Parliament. Critics say that the party needs to prove itself that it has the power to build bridges between the right and the left, not to close doors that may be necessary to win politics in the future.
Back to the beginning
It’s a point the administration and the opposition agree on, even if they differ on the solutions. While Nelson Silva thinks it is possible to do so by restoring the disrespectful way the party showed itself to the voters in the past. Sousa Real says that times have changed and that the country and other countries have raised new questions about politics. For the same reasons, the leader and representative of the leadership of the PAN is betting everything on the inclusion of the party in the European Green structure, thinking that this step is sure to recover the second in Brussels. Francisco Guerreiro was elected as his deputy in the last European elections, but left the party at the end of 2020, leaving the party without a representative in Brussels.
With two candidates for the leadership in a party that has only one deputy in São Bento, the PAN congress to be held in May in Matosinhos promises to be a place for many discussions and perhaps divisions.