There is a new "generation of 70" that is taking political power in Portugal – The Economic Journal

There is a new "generation of 70" that is taking political power in Portugal - The Economic Journal


Pedro Nuno Santos (1977): A life dedicated to the party

"In the PS, I only lack this", to be secretary general, said Pedro Nuno Santos, in May 2018, in the anteroom of the 22nd Congress of the PS. In an interview with Antena 1, the then Secretary of State for Parliamentary Affairs took stock of the legislature, focusing on negotiations with the BE, PCP and ENP to approve successive state budgets, a process in which it played a key role. And he explained the sectoral motion he proposed to the PS Congress, with an ideological left-wing (or more left compared to the current leadership). The clear ambition of Nuno Santos even led Antonio Costa, in the middle of Congress, to curb his enthusiasm. "I announce right away that I did not put the papers for retirement," said the PS leader.

Approved the fourth and last Budget of the State in this legislature, Pedro Nuno Santos was eventually promoted to Minister of Infrastructures and Housing, in February 2019. He thus climbed another step in the political career, approaching his assumed objective: leadership of the PS. But it will have to overcome this new challenge, managing very complicated folders and having little time to leave its mark until the October legislative elections. In practice, it will be about seven months of preparation for the next legislature, if the PS remains in power and Nuno Santos remains in the same position.

Born in São João da Madeira, Aveiro, in 1977, Nuno Santos graduated in Economics at ISEG-UTL and has almost no curriculum outside the political sphere. His professional experience is limited to the family business group, Tecmacal, a group of service and commercialization companies and development of industrial equipment, based in São João da Madeira. As for politics, it was almost anything but PS leader, as he himself pointed out. From Secretary General of JS to President of the Federation of Aveiro of the PS, passing through successive mandates of deputy to the Assembly of the Republic, the vice-presidency of the PS Parliamentary Group and the most recent positions of Secretary of State and Minister in the XXI Constitutional Government .

It is already positioned to dispute the succession of Costa, when this window of opportunity opens, presumably in the medium term. And he has a few strong allies in the party's apparatus to which he has devoted most of his life, namely Duarte Cordeiro (another politician of the "rising generation of 70") who signed the aforementioned sectoral motion in the last Congress and has just happened to him position of Secretary of State for Parliamentary Affairs (as happened in 2008, when Cordeiro succeeded Nuno Santos in the leadership of JS).

Curiously, the only former leader of the JS who came to PS leader was António José Seguro, without great success. A historical data not very auspicious for the ambition of Nuno Santos, or perhaps an additional motivation.

Fernando Medina (1973): Costa's natural successor

He graduated in Economics from the Faculty of Economics of the University of Porto and completed a master's degree in Economic Sociology at ISEG-UTL. He approached the PS during the leadership of António Guterres, having integrated the cabinet of the then prime minister in 2000, as an advisor to the areas of Education and Science. After the fall of the Government was to work like economist in the Agency for the Investment and Foreign Trade of Portugal.

In the first government of José Sócrates, who took office in 2005, Fernando Medina assumed the position of Secretary of State for Employment and Vocational Training. In the following Government he became Secretary of State for Industry and Development. It followed a mandate of deputy to the Assembly of the Republic, elected in 2011, having been vice-president of the Group of the PS. Until in 2013 he moved to the vice-presidency of the Lisbon City Council, at the invitation of President António Costa. Two years later, when Costa took over the leadership of the PS (overthrowing António José Seguro) and resigned from the Lisbon municipality, it was Medina who succeeded him as president. Position for which he would be elected in the municipalities of 2017.

Medina is clearly in the first line of succession of Costa in the leadership of the PS, anticipating a probable dispute with Pedro Nuno Santos (to be confirmed, it will be more a confrontation between the centrist wing and the center-left wing of the PS, as as in 2004, when José Sócrates defeated Manuel Alegre and João Soares). In addition to the visibility inherent in the post of president of the country's largest city council, Medina stars in a weekly space for political commentary on TVI, in which he has been rehearsing a nationwide political discourse, paving the way for higher flights.

In addition to Nuno Santos and Medina, other emerging politicians of the same generation, such as Ana Catarina Mendes (1973) and Pedro Marques (1976), must also be taken into account, which will also have a say in Costa's succession process. In the post of deputy general secretary of the PS, Mendes could join the next government, if it confirms the victory of the PS in the legislative of October. As for Marques, he is on his way to Brussels, leading the list of PS candidates to the European elections in May, having ceased as Minister of Planning and Infrastructures.

Luís Montenegro (1973): The challenger awaiting results

Graduated in Law, Luís Montenegro was born in Aveiro and began his political activity in Espinho, having presided over the Espinho JSD between 1994 and 1996, at the same time as a member of the Municipal Assembly of Espinho. Later, he became a councilman in the Câmara de Espinho, from 1997 to 2001, until he was elected deputy to the Assembly of the Republic in 2002, in the district of Aveiro. The transition from local politics to national politics was thus achieved, although he always maintained the connection with Espinho, even running for the mayoralty in 2005, then losing to a PS candidate.

Parallel to the political activity, Montenegro was practicing law, being currently partner of the firm Sousa Pinheiro & Montenegro (SP & M Advogados). In the Assembly of the Republic, for 16 years, he was a member of several commissions and held various positions. He ended up being particularly prominent as president of the PSD Parliamentary Group between 2011 and 2017, going through the difficult period of Pedro Passos Coelho's rule and also the first phase of opposition to the current Government.

When Rui Rio was elected president of the PSD in early 2018, succeeding to Passos Coelho, Montenegro did not enter the race but warned that he would be preparing to do so in the near future. "This time I decided to say no. If I ever decide to say 'yes', I will not ask anyone's permission, "he told the PSD Congress. In April 2018 he resigned as a deputy, and in the following months he harshly criticized Rio's leadership strategy. To the point where he even tried to overthrow him in early 2019, being blocked by a very tense vote in the National Council of the PSD.

Ideologically, Montenegro advocates a more right-wing PSD, more liberal in the economy and more hostile to the PS of Costa, in clear contrast to Rio's political strategy.

Since this failed attempt to assault the leadership, Montenegro has sheltered, leaving the spaces of political commentary that carried out in several mass media. It awaits the European and legislative results, scheduled for May and October, respectively. If PSD defeats are confirmed, as the polls predict, it will certainly challenge Rio's leadership again. This will be the second battle of an ongoing internal war.

Carlos Moedas (1970): A name for the near future

He graduated in Civil Engineering and later completed an MBA from Harvard Business School, USA. He passed Goldman Sachs investment bank in London. After returning to Portugal, he directed the real estate consultant Aguirre Newman Cosmopolita and later founded an investment management company, Crimson Investment Management.

He approached the PSD during the leadership of Pedro Passos Coelho, having coordinated the economic sector of the study office of the party. In 2011, he headed the list of PSD candidates in the Beja district and was elected deputy (something the PSD had not been able to do in Beja since 1995), but eventually joined the Government of Passos Coelho as Assistant Secretary of State for the First- Minister.

At the end of 2014, Currencies ceased to function in the Government and went to Brussels to be appointed European Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation. It has since carried out a meritorious work, recognized even by MEPs from other parties. And there are those who point him as a putative future leader of the PSD.

Unlike Coins, more reserved, even for the position he holds, both Pedro Duarte (1973) and Miguel Morgado (1974) do not hide their ambition to dispute the leadership of the PSD. They were in fact about to move forward at the beginning of the year, when Montenegro tried to overthrow Rio and open a process of succession. Duarte was a leader of the JSD, working as a director at Microsoft Portugal and for some years preparing his way to compete for the PSD leadership. In turn, Morgado gained prominence during the leadership of Passos Coelho and intends to impel an ideological, strategic and generational reconfiguration of the PSD and the political space of right and center-right. In this sense, in fact, will launch tomorrow the "5 July Movement", with the aim of "refounding the right on new bases and taking into account the country today."

Assunção Cristas (1974): Rise of a late member

Unlike many other politicians of his generation, Asuncion Cristas does not have a limited path to party militancy and political office. In fact, he joined very late in the CDS-PP, in 2007, at the invitation of the then leader Paulo Portas, who tried to attract new cadres to the party. The Portas strategy would have an effect, enabling a generational renewal in the CDS-PP that would result in its own succession in early 2016, after the fall of the second Passos Coelho Government.

Before going to politics, Cristas graduated in Law and taught at the Faculty of Law of Universidade Nova de Lisboa. She was also a legal consultant at Morais Leitão, Galvão Teles, Soares da Silva and Associados, which has historical links to CDS-PP. Launched by Portas, she was a member of the Assembly of the Republic from 2009 to 2011, and later joined the coalition Government PSD / CDS-PP, in the position of Minister for Agriculture, the Sea, Environment and Spatial Planning.

In 2016 she became the first woman ever to take over the presidency of CDS-PP. Since then, it has sought to elevate the party to a dominant position in the center-right political space, overcoming the PSD, something that it has already been able to do at the local level in Lisbon in the municipal elections of 2017. It remains to be seen whether it was only an isolated phenomenon, or whether it could be replicable at the national level.

Another young man from Portas, Adolfo Mesquita Nunes (1977), after a meritorious performance as Secretary of State for Tourism, was becoming an inescapable reference for the near future of CDS-PP. However, not surprisingly, he has just accepted an invitation to join the board of directors of Galp Energia, which will mean a move away from active policy (or at least greater discretion). However, he has already resigned from the vice-presidency of the party, but will remain as coordinator of the respective electoral program for the legislative ones.

Catarina Martins (1973): Unlikely and historical leader

Like Cults in the CDS-PP, Catarina Martins is also the first woman to take the leadership of BE, although it is a more recent party and has begun to be a bicéfala leadership, in co-coordination with João Semedo, between 2012 and 2014. From a very young age she participated in various civic and political movements, but only formally acceded to the BE in 2010, immediately integrating the respective direction. Before, she had already been elected to the Assembly of the Republic in 2009 on the BE lists but with independent status. It would be re-elected in 2011 and 2015.

With a degree in Modern Languages ​​and Literature, in addition to a Masters in Linguistics, Martins has an unusual course (focusing on the cultural sector, especially theater companies) for a party leader in Portugal. Nonetheless, it has already gone down in history as the leader who won the best ever electoral result of the BE in the legislative elections of 2015, with 10.19% of the votes and 19 terms. In addition to that, the government solution was formed in the same year, based on agreements of parliamentary influence (between the Government of the PS and the BE, PCP and PEV), which brought the bloquistas closer to the political center and the governmental sphere. And it is advancing to the 2019 legislative period with the ambitious ambition of joining the next Government.

MEP Marisa Matias (1976) is from the same "generation of 70" and few will be surprised if she ever comes to the party leadership. This year she is once again leading the list of bloquist candidates in the European elections and has also been a candidate for the Presidency of the Republic in 2016.

João Ferreira (1978): Hanging between Brussels and Lisbon

At least since the beginning of this legislature speculation about a possible change in the leadership of the PCP, but recently it was Secretary General Jerónimo de Sousa himself who pointed to this, admitting not to continue in office after the 2020 Congress. "Inevitably, is the law of life, I will end up having different responsibilities in the party, changed, albeit with a feeling: I will not wear the slippers, I will continue as a militant, "said Jerónimo de Sousa recently. Speculation has intensified to the point that it has been remarked, however, that it is not a given, and can remain in the lead if the militants so agree.

In the line of succession of Jerónimo de Sousa stands out João Ferreira, current member of the European Parliament (and in pre-election campaign for his re-election, once again heading the list of candidates of the CDU) and councilman in the Lisbon Chamber. Since 2009 Ferreira has been in the European Parliament. In 2014 it even obtained a historical result as head-of-list: 12.68% of the votes and three mandates for the CDU.

He graduated in Biology and was a research fellow at the Institute of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine at the Universidade Nova de Lisboa. He also worked as a consultant in a private company of studies and projects in the area of ​​environment, planning and territory management. At the political level, it lacks only experience at the level of the Assembly of the Republic, which may be an obstacle in its eventual path to party leadership. First of all, when he became Secretary-General in 2020, he would not sit on the communist parliamentary bench, leading from Brussels and Lisbon.

In contrast, João Oliveira (1979), another natural successor of Jerónimo de Sousa in the leadership of the PCP. Unlike Ferreira, who has been in Brussels since 2009, Oliveira has been in the Assembly of the Republic since 2005. He is the current bench leader parliamentarian of the PCP, serving as a sort of "right-hand man" of the Secretary-General. In fact, it was an essential piece in the parliamentary negotiations inherent to the current Government solution (the so-called "contraption"). It is also an inescapable name for the near future of the Communists.

Article published in the 1981 edition of March 22, Jornal Econômico



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