Portuguese American Journal

Protest: EU Parliament elections disregard voting rights of Portuguese abroad – TSP

For the Civic Association TSP – [Também Somos Portugueses {We are also Portuguese}] – “it is clear that having only the option of voting in person inhibits greater electoral participation of the Portuguese abroad. That is why it is necessary to relaunch the debate on the amendment of electoral laws as a matter of urgency.”

TSP is an International Civic Association that promotes the civic and political participation of the Portuguese abroad, and the improvement of the services provided by the Portuguese state.

It is estimated that 2 to 5 million Portuguese citizens live abroad live abroad. Taking into account the descendants of Portuguese emigrants, the population of Portuguese descent worldwide is more than 40% of the population residing in the national territory.

In a prepared statement to the press, TSP claims that, although the elections to the EU Parliament, on June 6-9, 2024, represent a record vote, it does not hide the need to change electoral laws for Portuguese abroad. According to the TSP’s statement:

“The contrast couldn’t be greater. These are the numbers of votes cast by Portuguese abroad in the elections for the Assembly of the Republic – 333,000 on March 10, 30,000 on June 9 – in which the vote is postal and in the elections for the European Parliament, in which the vote is in person at consulates.

When this communiqué is issued, the results of 3 Portuguese consulates are not yet known, i.e., we do not yet have the final results of the European Parliament elections. However, the 30,000 already counted abroad exceed the 13,000 counted in 2019. In March, there had already been a record result for the elections to the Assembly of the Republic, with 333 thousand votes registered representing an increase of 91% compared to the 2022 elections.

TSP welcomes this growing participation of Portuguese living abroad but calls for remote voting for all elections, including those of the European Parliament and the President of the Republic.

Portugal is one of the 7 European countries in which you can only vote in person in the European Parliament elections. In 14 of them, remote voting by post or digital is allowed, and in 6 there is no voting abroad.

The Association “TSP – Também Somos Portugueses” will request meetings with all political parties represented in the Assembly of the Republic to present their proposals to change the electoral and registration laws, so that all Portuguese, wherever they live, have the same possibilities to vote for the democratic institutions of their country.

These changes should include the gradual introduction of digital voting (remote electronic voting), on which Portuguese communities have a broad consensus.”

Source: TSP

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