Part of the right in Portugal is out of tune with Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa and is already looking for an alternative to the presidential elections that occupies a political space between the former leader of the PSD and André Ventura. Among the names on the table is that of Adolfo Mesquita Nunes, according to the weekly Expresso, which advances that the former vice president of Assunção Cristas at CDS has already been “challenged to advance” and that this “gains strength at CDS” and “reaps PSD support for the Liberal Initiative”.
Miguel Morgado (former PSD deputy) and Carlos Guimarães Pinto (former leader of the Liberal Initiative) are two of the voices that announce on Expresso their support for a candidacy by Adolfo Mesquita Nunes, one of the main faces of the liberal wing of the CDS. The first considered, in statements made to Expresso, that Adolfo Mesquita Nunes "would be a good candidate, I have no doubts" and the second stressed that the Christian Democrat "represents liberalism", adding that "personally" considers that "it would be an excellent candidate.
The weekly also mentions that there is more support in the various parties in the moderate right of the PSD, CDS and Liberal Initiative and also in the economic area – where Mesquita Nunes' work as Secretary of State for Tourism of the first Government of Passos Coelho was highly appreciated.
In a week in which António Costa moved forward with the re-election of Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, it was clear that a re-election of the current President of the Republic could count on the support of the PS and PSD. What could open a space for a liberal right candidacy to emerge that occupies a space between Marcelo more positioned in the center and André Ventura, leader of Chega, positioned in the radical right.
More uncertain is the position of the CDS, which in 2015 supported Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa in his candidacy for Belém. In the last elective Congress of the party, where Francisco Rodrigues dos Santos was elected successor to Assunção Cristas, the new leader defended that it was not yet time to discuss the presidential theme, being necessary to “take stock” of the first mandate of the current PR. The new leader left, however, criticism of the predecessor for having announced that the CDS was going to support Marcelo without first consulting the internal organs of the centrists. Rodrigues dos Santos has taken more critical positions in recent weeks compared to Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa.