President of Portugal criticizes the right for opposing Lula’s speech
The president of Portugal, the conservative Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, criticized this Thursday (16) the Portuguese right for opposing the participation of President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (PT) in the parliamentary session on April 25.
“How was it possible to open a debate on the presence of a representative of a people and a State that was a precursor, a pioneer in the phases of Portuguese decolonization on April 25, as if this were not an obvious reality, as natural as breathing?” questioned the head of state when questioned by the press.
“There is something strange when only one hemisphere of Portuguese political life considers it natural”, added Rebelo de Sousa, who said he did not understand “the reticence” between right-wing parties, including the Social Democratic Party (PSD, centre-right), of which he was leader.
Lula will speak in Parliament during his visit to Portugal, but not in the session dedicated to the 49th anniversary of April 25 (commemorative of the Carnation Revolution), after the controversy generated by the invitation made by the socialist government (which has an absolute majority) to this date, without having discussed it with the deputies.
The president of the Portuguese Parliament, Augusto Santos Silva, then announced the holding of a “solemn welcome session” for Lula, an initiative that generated a “very large consensus” between the parties.
Although the left was in favor, the right criticized the invitation. The PSD took a position against the Brazilian president’s participation in the parliamentary celebrations on April 25, while the Liberal Initiative threatened to leave the chamber during the speech.
Some right-wing parties considered the invitation an “offense” and a “gratuitous provocation”, and warned that they plan to organize a demonstration at the doors of Parliament against Lula’s presence, whatever the day of the speech.
Lula will make a state visit to Portugal between April 22 and 25 to participate in the Luso-Brazilian summit, which last took place in 2016 and was not resumed during the presidency of Jair Bolsonaro (PL).