The urge to govern oneself is strong, no being beholden to foreign powers with whom you have absolutely no control…
Europe’s Populist Wave Reaches Portugal
by Soeren Kern • October 26, 2019 at 5:00 am
- André Ventura, leader of Portugal’s new populist party Chega! (Enough!), has said that the traditional parties “no longer respond to the people’s problems” and that he represents “disillusioned Portuguese.” He has called for lowering taxes, strengthening borders and increasing penalties for serious crimes.
- Ventura has also called for a public referendum on reforming the Constitution in order to replace the existing parliamentary system with a presidential system that better guarantees the separation of powers. The existing political system, he said, was created by Marxists and fascists after the 1974 revolution in order to share the spoils after four decades of dictatorship. Indeed, the Portuguese Constitution calls for opening up “a path towards a socialist society.”
- In the area of foreign policy, Ventura has called for opposing European federalism, safeguarding national sovereignty from encroaching globalism and taking Portugal out of the UN’s Global Compact for Migration. He has called for reinforcing Portugal’s role in NATO, and for fighting against the “hegemonic temptations” of China, Iran and the European Union. He has also called for an “unequivocal commitment” to support the State of Israel and for transferring the Portuguese embassy to Jerusalem.
- “If there is a problem with the community, we need to know where they are, who they are, what problems they have. And in Portugal you cannot even talk about it.” — André Ventura.
A Portuguese populist party called Chega! — Enough! — has secured a seat in Parliament, after winning more than 65,000 votes in legislative elections held on October 6. It is the first time that an anti-establishment party has entered Parliament since Portugal became a democracy in 1974.
Chega leader André Ventura, a 36-year-old law professor and television sports personality, campaigned on a theme of law and order and opposition to both political correctness and the imposition of cultural Marxism. He rode a wave of discontent with traditional center-right parties, which in recent years have drifted to the left on domestic and foreign policy issues.
The Socialist Party won the election with 36.3% of the vote, far short of an outright majority. The center-right Social Democrats won 27.8%, the party’s worst result since 1983. Chega, which was founded in March 2019, won 2% of the vote in Lisbon and 1.3% of the vote nationwide.