Portuguese Prime Minister Passos Coelho, national leader of the Social Democratic Party (PSD), was the guest speaker at the XX Social Democratic Regional Convention, which took place in Ponta Delgada over the weekend.
The event was presided by Duarte Freitas, the regional leader of PSD, elected with 92.6 percent of the vote December 18. About 300 PSD delegates attended the convention held at the Auditorium Luís de Camões.
Freitas presented “a motion for a global strategy” aimed to “restructuring, reforming and renewing” the party in the Region. “The Azores needs a strong leadership, able to mobilize and carry out the task of restructuring, reforming and renewing the party to better meet the needs and expectations of the Azores and the Azoreans,” he said.
Freitas also challenged the current austerity policies being implemented by the central government by stating that the PSD in the Azores “would not hesitate to vote against any central government proposals which would not be considered for the best interest of the Azores.”
In his speech, the prime Minister spoke with confidence of the central government policies in progress to reducing the national deficit and pull the county off a recession which has lasted for over two years.
According to Passos Coelho, the financial situation in the country has improved. He said, “It is not fair to compare Portugal with Greece which is entering its fifth year of recession having lost about 25% of its national wealth.”
The PSD in the Azores (PSD/A) won 33% of votes, winning 20 parliamentary seats in the legislative elections held on October 2012, while Vasco Cordeiro, the leader of the regional Socialist Party (PS), was elect President of the Regional Government, with an absolute majority of 49% of votes.
The social democrats (PSD) had won 18 of a total of 19 precincts in the Azores in the June 5 national elections, which elected Portugal’s Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho, the national leader of the Social Democratic Party (PSD).
The Azores, (population 250,000) became an Autonomous Region of Portugal in 1976. The government of the Autonomous Region of the Azores includes the Legislative Assembly, composed of 57 elected deputies, elected by universal suffrage for a four-year term; the Regional Government and Presidency, with parliamentary legitimacy, composed of a President, a Vice-President and seven Regional Secretaries responsible for the Regional Government executive operations. The Autonomous Region of the Azores is represented in the Council of Ministers of the Central Government by a representative appointed by the President of Portugal.