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)
The 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.
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."
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.