Rui Moreira takes office for the “positive and aggregating” term of a Porto with “voice of independence and freedom”

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In his inaugural speech for his third and last term as Mayor of Porto, Rui Moreira guaranteed that he will continue to work for the “positive and aggregating” Porto, stressing that the Invicta will also continue “to be a voice of independence and freedom in the face of the installed powers, the centralism that harms the country”. The public ceremony of the installation of municipal bodies - Executive and Assembly, took place, this afternoon, in the refurbished Pavilhão Rosa Mota, for citizens and individuals from the several parts of Porto and the Portuguese society.

With an “unshakeable commitment” to remain “connected” to Porto, Rui Moreira began by thanking Porto inhabitants for the renewed confidence in his independent political project, “for the third time and against everything and everyone”. The victory was “unmistakable” and not even the “fallacious mists” disturbed his re-election, he noted.

It is, therefore, in view of his program that the reappointed mayor will respond to Porto inhabitants, ensuring that he will respect “every commitment made in the electoral campaign”, maintaining the democratic spirit of listening to the opposition, something that always guided his governance, he promised in front of an audience where were the party leader of CDS-PP, Francisco Rodrigues dos Santos and the secretary general of Iniciativa Liberal, João Cotrim Figueiredo, the mayor of Lisbon City Hall, Carlos Moedas, the president of the Economic and Social Council, Francisco Assis, the auxiliary bishop of Lisbon, D. Américo Aguiar, the president of Futebol Clube do Porto, Jorge Nuno Pinto da Costa, professor Luís Valente de Oliveira, historian Germano Silva, businessmen, such as Ilídio Pinho and António Mota, municipal inducted councillors and resigning deputies and, presidents of Parish Councils, magistrates, among other civil, military, and religious authorities, and his family, and friends.

In the speech that followed his take office, conducted by the resigning president of the Porto Municipal Assembly, Miguel Pereira Leite, and in which there was no lack of literary references to Porto, Porto inhabitants and the characteristics that distinguish both – from the “impractical faith of freedom” of the Porto inhabitants, by Agustina Bessa Luís, to the nobility of character vigilant to the “abuses of power”, mentioned by Eugénio de Andrade – Rui Moreira paused, more extensively, in the first volume of “As Farpas” (1883), by Ramalho Ortigão.

Taking advantage of the sharp narrative of the writer from Porto – who in the acclaimed period of the end of the 19th century describes his return to Porto, years after his departure from the Invicta to the capital, leading him to assume that he felt like a “tourist travelling on my own city” – the mayor made an analogy to the present, to explain that self-criticism is a characteristic of Porto that crosses generations.

"Irresolute City" where everything is discussed

The “feeling of protest and discouragement [of Ramalho Ortigão] towards the progress that had arrived in Porto, in the golden times and which still identify our city”, is, in the end, “an amazing characteristic of Porto that it is [our] critical capacity”, resumed Rui Moreira. For the mayor, a deep admirer of the “irresolute city”, “where everything is always under permanent public discussion”, this Porto ethos is reflected in several controversies that, even today, inhabit the collective memory, aided by the decal given in the press, either about the “debate around the Cubo da Ribeira” or the “anger around the requalification of Aliados”.

Aware, therefore, of the characteristic of Porto inhabitants of “criticising everything”, the mayor expressed that it won’t be an obstacle for him to continue governing steady in his last term at the service of the city.

“We must have the strength and courage to, for example, continue to work permanently for the environmental, social and economical sustainability of the city. We must know how to keep up with the new times and the necessary prosperity with the inevitable and fractured decarbonization agenda”, he stressed.

Also, compromising “to do everything to maintain Porto’s identity”, Rui Moreira made it clear that the path will have to be compatible with “a better future for the generations to come”. In that way, he warned that it will be necessary to change “old paradigms”, leaving open some changes that may be made in municipal decision.

“In mobility, in consumption, in the use of scarce resources such as public space, which must continue to be recovered … with or without the ill-fated small pillars, which can certainly be replaced by civic spirit”, said the mayor.

Conclusion of Projects that the pandemic delayed

In the electoral campaign, Rui Moreira had already mentioned: one of the main reasons that lead him to the candidacy was the intention to conclude the projects that the pandemic delayed. Today, at Super Bock Arena – Pavilhão Rosa Mota, that was refurbished during his second term with private investment, the mayor reaffirmed it by listing a set of public investments that are about to be finished such as the refurbishment and modernization work of Mercado do Bolhão, the building of Terminal Intermodal de Campanhã , the refurbishment of Cinema Batalha, the expansion of Biblioteca Municipal Pública do Porto – and also the conversion of the old Matadouro.

The mayor left a special consideration about this project, as he sees it as “the anchor of my every time and unequivocal priority: Campanhã”. For the mayor, the eastern area “has unique conditions to be a lever of development for the entire city” and, proof of that is the fact that there are more young families and entrepreneurs choosing the area to live and prosper, he stressed. And to all the presidents of the boroughs of Porto, the mayor committed to “reinforce the competences” with the “essential resources”.

In the last formal session where the municipal bodies were appointed, and he attended as mayor, Rui Moreira also cast a look at the growing attractiveness of Porto that, he says, goes way beyond its “beauty, uniqueness and History”, owing it, equally, to the collective capacity that Porto had, in the last couple of years, to assert itself as a “cosmopolitan, interesting and comfortable city, crossed by increasingly unequivocal demonstrations of life quality”, he declared.

“Porto has gained renewed international recognition for having known how to take advantage of opportunities to explore its development potential and open up to the world on multiple levels”, he also observed.

Federation of the independent movements

Closing his speech, Rui Moreira once again opened the door to an intention that he had already expressed in his victory speech, on the election night of 26 September. “It is urgent, for the sake of democracy (…) that we must promote the federation of thousands of citizens who continue to believe in independent candidates”.

Refraining from “excessive explanations and interpretations”, the mayor manifested “total availability to help building this idea that has its grounds in AMAI – Associação Nacional dos Movimentos Autárquicos Independentes (National Association of Independent Municipal Movements)” refusing however, “any leadership scenario”.

According to the independent mayor, “if eight years ago a collective desire emerged to see this city of liberty delivered”, the same “cannot be diluted”. Reaffirming that “Porto can, once again, be the historical base of a political movement closer to the citizens”, Rui Moreira seized the opportunity to thank publicly the head of the board of “Porto, o nosso movimento” (“Porto, our movement”), Francisco Ramos, responsible for the candidacy that he headed the Group of Citizens Electors “Aqui há Porto”, because he “has been a dedicated, generous, intelligent and manifestly selfless president”, he praised.

Governance agreement with PSD

On the stage of Pavilhão Rosa Mota, where he spent about half an hour for his final inaugural speech, Rui Moreira mentioned the post-electoral governance agreement with PSD Porto, saying that it will allow for “the creation of the stability that Porto deserves and needs”.

At this particular moment, the mayor sent a heartfelt thanks to Miguel Pereira Leite, “his abnegation, responsibility and love for Porto spoke louder”. “He goes down in history as an extraordinary President of the Municipal Assembly and a politician capable of dedicating himself to the city’s best interests”, he declared, after Miguel Pereira Leite received a standing ovation, by the entire audience, when signing the minute of the Municipal Executive.

The governance agreement with the social democrats, that Rui Moreira also acknowledged is due to “the sense of responsibility” of the president of the PSD Porto, Miguel Seabra, and the head of the PSD list, Vladimiro Feliz, who will be “faithful to the will expressed by Porto inhabitants”, he said. Therefore, the independent mayor asked that the merits and advantages of governance solutions not be called into question.

A mandate to continue to claim “a positive and aggregating Porto”

Rui Moreira ended his speech by assuring that he will continue working to claim, “a positive and aggregating Porto”, in times he acknowledges to be difficult. After the “pandemic winter that we all have lived in, there’s a political and economic cold approaching”, he warned.

The swearing-in ceremony of the municipal bodies, which was attended by hundreds of people, in attendance form, and that was also broadcasted live, was punctuated by musical moments performed by Orquestra Juvenil da Bonjóia and by UNIR – Universidade Intergeracional de Ramalde tuna (University students’ band).