Record number of Portuguese candidates in British local elections – The Observer

Record number of Portuguese candidates in British local elections - The Observer

There are at least nine Portuguese candidates for the British local elections on 5 May, the highest number ever, reflecting the growing interest in the political participation of expatriates and Portuguese descendants, which was welcomed by the Portuguese government.

One of the most decisive factors for the successful integration of the Portuguese in society is political participation. When there is this participation, it means that there is complete integration. And, therefore, I see it as a very positive factor,” Paulo Cafofo, Secretary of State for Portuguese Communities, told Agnia Lusa.

The Madeiran politician said that he expected “a great development to continue with regard to Portuguese and Portuguese who wish to participate in political life” and that “it is necessary to encourage [para] So that it can happen in the next election.”

Diogo Costa, 23, the youngest candidate for councilor on the city council [Council] Lambeth, South London, is a first-time candidate for the constituency. [ward] Why Oval?

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Also in Lambeth and for ‘Labour’, 41-year-old Sarina da Silva is a newcomer to politics in the constituency of Waterloo and South Bank.

Sofia de Sousa, 32, is running for a second time for the Conservative Party in the Blackwall and Cubitt Town constituency in East London’s Tower Hamlets Chamber, where she had failed in the election four years earlier.

Luso-descendant Lucia Das Neves would seek re-election to ‘Labour’ in the city council of Haringay, north of the British capital, for the constituency of Woodside Ward.

Outside the capital, 32-year-old Januario Gusmao and Diogo Rodrigues are Conservative Party candidates for Bridgewater City Council in Somerset, south-west England, for the constituencies of Eastover and Bridgewater East and Bawdrip, respectively.

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Rodrigues, who was once mayor in the village in 2018, is also the first Portuguese to hold such a position in the United Kingdom, the most experienced mayor of Portuguese descent, having accumulated seven years in office.

Tiago Corais, 43, was re-elected councilor last year [city councillor] For the city of Littlemore, on the outskirts of Oxford, he will run again this year due to a reorganization of constituencies, this time for a four-year term.

In Wales, Iolanda Banu Viegas, 48, councilor for Portuguese communities, is a candidate again for the Welsh nationalist party Plaid Cymru in the village of Wrexham, this time in the Erdig constituency, after a failed attempt in 2017.

In Scotland, there is a Portuguese candidate for the first time, 44-year-old Martha Matos Costa, who is running for the Scottish National Party (SNP) in the Liberton/Gilmerton area of ​​Edinburgh.

In England, elections will be held on 4,360 seats in 146 municipalities, 1,227 seats in 32 localities in Scotland, and 1,200 seats in 22 municipalities in Wales.

Local elections in England are held almost every year, but in different municipalities or constituencies.

As a councillor, Carla Barreto, 43, remains in office, having been elected as an independent mayor in the village of Thetford in eastern England in 2019, holding the position for another year.

It is estimated that the Portuguese community in the United Kingdom is about 400 thousand people, the fourth largest in Europe after Poland, Romania and Italy.

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