Tuesday, 3 February 2009

If the elections were today, Amaral would be elected president.

SOS Madeleine McCann 3/02/09

The Maddie case led to Amaral's being dropped as a candidate.

If the Portuguese local elections were today, "Gonçalo Amaral would win with 53% of the vote," defeating the current socialist Mayor of the town of Olhão (Algarve). This is what the leader of the Algarve region's Social-Democrats, Mendes Bota, says, quoting a poll commissioned by his party. (PSD)

amaral large 2.jpgThe former coordinator of the Department of Criminal Investigation (DIC) for the Portimão PJ had been approached by the local party leaders to become their candidate for the post of Mayor of Olhão, a town where the socialists have not lost since the carnation revolution in 1974.

In spite of the excellent results for Gonçalo Amaral in the poll by the Institute for Market Research and Public Opinion, commissioned by the Algarve PSD, the Social-Democrat Party's National Policy Committee ruled out the candidate without giving, "any reason for rejecting the nominated candidate, as the party's regional leader confirmed.

According to the poll commissioned by the Algarve PSD, conducted between January 22nd and 23rd, the former coordinator of the investigation into Madeleine McCann's disappearance would have overtaken the current Mayor, Francisco Amaral (PS), in the polls, obtaining a "comfortable victory" for the PSD which they would never otherwise obtain.

It was Manuela Ferreira Leite, the PSD's national president who was the foremost opponent of Gonçalo Amaral's candidacy, rejecting the "promiscuity between politics and the law," a justification that convinced neither the activists nor the regional officers, who stated that they were "saddened," by the decision.

According to the National PSD's decision, Gonçalo Amaral will not be the party's candidate, and any possibility to support him from a list of independents would also have been ruled out.

British influence ruled out Gonçalo Amaral.

""It was Mendes Bota himself who said that Dr Amaral was an excellent candidate and that, for the first time, the PSD would win the elections," a Social-Democrat activist in Olhão stated after the announcement that the ex-coordinator of the PJ would not be the PSD candidate for Mayor of the town, adding, "it's an unbelievable decision. I want to know why. It's the least they can do."

In spite of the justification put forward by the party's national leader, there are those who suggest other explanations, notably the right of the British to vote in the local elections: "they (the English) have the right to vote in the locals, and they were not going to vote for the PSD anywhere if Gonçalo Amaral was our candidate in Olhão," an activist stated.

Gerry McCann's recent meeting, during his visit to Portugal, with a member of the PSD's national committee and the party's national leader's frequent visits to London, is not going to calm things down, even raising questions in the media.

According to a local party official, it is effectively "external factors," which dictated the dropping of the candidacy for Amaral, "who has an enviable cv," but the orders from Lisbon are quite specific: Gonçalo Amaralwill not be the PSD's candidate in any town in the country.

Duarte Levy

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