The President of the Regional Government of the Azores, Carlos César, 55, announced late Friday that he will not seek a 4th mandate in the Azores’ regional elections scheduled for October 2012, LUSA news reported.
News that he would run for a new term were conflicting and were settled after Carlos César made a statement Friday evening indicating that he, indeed, was not seeking a new term.
Carlos César, the leader of the Socialist Party (PS) in the Azores, would be challenged by Berta Cabral, 58, the Mayor of Ponta Delgada and the leader of the Social Democratic Party (PSD) in the Azores.
The social democrats won 18 of a total of 19 precincts in the Azores in the June 5 national elections, which elected Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho, the national leader of the Social Democratic Party (PSD).
The current Regional Secretary for the Economy, Vasco Cordeiro, will most likely replace Carlos César in the 2012 electoral bid.
Vice-President of the Azorean executive, Sérgio Ávila, the Regional Secretary for Science, Technology and Equipment, José Contente, and National Assembly Deputy Ricardo Rodrigues were other names mentioned as possible candidates to succeed Carlos César.
Carlos César was first elected President of the Regional Government of Azores on 9 November 1996, with 46 percent of the vote, defeating the regional Social Democratic Party (PSD) led by former President Mota Amaral. Since then, the Socialists won the regional elections successively in 2000, 2004 and 2008, under Carlos César leadership.
The Azores (population 250,000) became an Autonomous Region of Portugal in 1976. The government of the Autonomous Region of the Azores include the Legislative Assembly, composed of 52 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.