STATEMENT BY JERÓNIMO DE SOUSA, GENERAL SECRETARY OF THE PCP, LISBON
On the Central Committee Meeting of the PCP, on November 8, 2015
The legislative elections confirmed what for long the workers and the people have been maintaining with their struggle – the defeat of the PSD/CDS and of their policy. The new relationship of forces which exists in the Assembly of the Republic holds a potential to address the most pressing problems affecting the workers and the populations which cannot be wasted.
During this past month, we have witnessed the promotion of a brutal ideological offensive regarding the election results. A concerted action which includes the decision by the President of the Republic to nominate Passos Coelho, and his deplorable address to the country, whose content is particularly serious given its assumed confrontation with the Constitution of the Portuguese Republic.
The Central Committee of the PCP does not recognize in Cavaco Silva neither political legitimacy nor democratic dimension to elaborate about the role and the course of the PCP, an essential Party of Portuguese democracy.
No manoeuvres can wipe away the connivance of the President of the Republic and his support for a government and a policy that have left a huge trail of destruction in the country.
A trail of destruction whose consequences become clearer with the economic and social situation, in collision with the deceptions, lies, propaganda and demagoguery carried out by the government, well illustrated in the huge scam of a promised return of 35.3% of the IRS (Income Tax) surcharge just a few days before the election.
A social and economic reality that PSD and CDS wish to maintain, as clearly shown by the content of the government Programme presented last November 6.
Ignoring the continuing serious structural problems of the country, insisting on the misconception that their policies led to a path of economic recovery, repeating empty proclamations about solving social problems like unemployment or poverty and seeking to conceal the increasing difficulties that affect the workers and the people, what the PSD/CDS government presents is the prospect of continuing and intensifying the policy that worsened exploitation and impoverishment, deepened injustice and inequality and imposed a degradation of the democratic regime.
The Government Programme confirms the very strong reasons to prevent the PSD/CDS government from holding office.
Thus, we reconfirm PCP’s decision to table a motion rejecting the PSD/CDS Government Programme.
In view of the PSD/CDS coalition’s defeat in the elections, the PCP took the initiative and pointed out the need to draw political and institutional consequences from the election results of a defeat that was not only of a government, but also of its policy. Results that clearly expressed a demand for change.
It was for this demand for a change of national political life that the PCP responded with its initiative.
The new political and institutional reality arising from the elections placed, and places, the demand and responsibility to ensure the interruption of the path pursued by the previous government.
It is this responsibility that needs to be materialized and which led the PCP not to spare efforts, responding to the interests of workers and the people and honouring its commitments to work and struggle to answer them, to ensure the corresponding political and institutional conditions.
It is in the materialization of these objectives that, in a serious and committed way, the PCP has been, in coherence with its position following the elections.
The approach and mutual assessment between the PS and the PCP enable to identify a number of matters where it is possible to ensure a convergent action to address some of the immediate problems of the workers and of the Portuguese people. The real possibility is open, among others, to take steps to hand back wages and incomes, to reinstate the pension supplements of the workers from the state business sector, to valorise wages and halt the continued degradation of pensions, to repay part of the social benefits subject to existence of resources, to reinstate the cancelled public holidays, to ensure better conditions of access to the rights to health and education, to reverse the process of concession and privatisation of ground transport companies.
It is obvious that there exists in the Assembly of the Republic an institutional base that will enable, to go as far as the willingness of each political force that composes it, to open the way to respond to the aspirations and rights of the workers and the people, and that nothing prevents the formation of a PS initiative government.
The PCP reaffirms that no political and institutional reason can be invoked by the President of the Republic to question this governing solution.
The Central Committee confirmed the terms of the “Joint Position by the PS and the PCP on the political solution,” sent to the PS and if also approved by the PS, will have tomorrow, in terms to be defined jointly, its formalisation and presentation.
And thus are met, on the part of the PCP, the conditions that ensure the defeat of the PSD/ CDS government next Tuesday and enable the formation of a government of the PS initiative.
We reaffirm now, and unquestionably, what we have stressed: there is in the Assembly of the Republic a majority of MPs which is condition enough for PS to form a government, present its programme, take office, and adopt a policy to ensure a lasting solution in terms of the legislature.
Meanwhile, the workers and the people can count on what the PCP pledged to them and the country: we will take the initiative and will not withhold support to all measures that meet their interests, the increase of their income and the restoration of their rights. That has always been our pledge which the PCP renews, with the sure guarantee of its commitment to, without seeking to impose its programme but also without giving it up and of its ideological and political independence, to help ensure for the country a path of economic development, social progress and national independence.
The possibility now opened, that should not be wasted and that we will do everything to confirm it, not only does not exempt but confirms the essential aim of a rupture with the right-wing policy and the implementation of a patriotic and left-wing policy.
It is this objective that the workers and the people, the democrats and patriots, all those who want to ensure the right to a Portugal with a future will continue to take in their hands with their intervention and their struggle.
Intervention and struggle of the workers and the people whose importance the Central Committee of the PCP stresses. Right now it is particularly important to highlight the concentration called by the CGTP-IN this coming November 10, near the Assembly in order to consummate the defeat of the PSD/CDS coalition, claim answers to the demands of the workers and affirm the need for a policy that promotes economic development to serve the workers, the people and the country.
Finally, the Central Committee of the PCP stresses the undeniable importance of the Presidential Elections in the context of the current situation in the country.
The candidacies that are already known and the development of a pre-campaign confirms the correctness of PCP’s decision to present the candidacy of Edgar Silva, proves its distinct nature and stand and clearly shows its essential and irreplaceable role in this political battle.
A truly coherent and combative candidacy, committed to the interests of the workers and of the people, linked to the April values and the Constitution of the Republic.