In the debate with Vitorino Silva, in the scope of the presidential elections, broadcast on RTP3, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, who is also re-nominated for the post of head of state, stated that, in view of the possible worsening of the pandemic crisis, with an increase in contagions due to the new coronavirus, "there are two scenarios on the table".

"The first scenario is to return to four thousand, five thousand, six thousand cases per day", which translates into a "reduction in the number of cases over the past two days" (in which the new daily contagions were around 10,000), and that "would mean returning to what was the regime in force until now", pointed out the President.

Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa stressed that, even with a worsening of the measures, the electoral campaign will not be in question, because "political activity is safeguarded by law, and must be safeguarded in any case by the presidential decree and by its execution".

Also, the lack of definition to allow people to travel to the polling stations will be "obviously" taken into account, he guaranteed, anticipating that on 24 January "there will be freedom of movement, of movement, allowing the exercise of the right to vote".

The President of the Republic, as candidate, also said that, before setting the date for the presidential elections, he had doubts about a possible postponement, so he heard the parties with parliamentary representation, who refused this postponement.

"Unlike the other elections, as for the presidential elections, the Constitution itself sets the terms that determine the date, or the possible dates of the election, because the date is fixed according to the end of the previous term of the President, which means that for there to be a postponement", he explained.

Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa also said that he chose to call the elections "later", because the parliament passed new legislation, which came into force in November, and provides for the possibility of home voting for those who are in isolation due to the covid-19.

The head of state also appealed to citizens to make themselves available for the elections, which will require a "brutal electoral machine", and especially thanked those who go to the voters' house to collect the votes.

The state of emergency enacted on November 9 to combat the pandemic was renewed with effect from 00:00 on January 8, until the 15th.