Supporters of Chega's presidential candidate met in a festive atmosphere at a dinner / rally in Braga with music and singing, an initiative that the candidacy claimed to comply with the rules of the Directorate-General for Health.

In a statement released today, the Command of the Republican National Guard (GNR) confirms that officers were called to the event, which framed as taking place under the article of the decree law on the new lockdown, which states the prohibition of celebrations and events, except those that take place within the scope of the campaign for the presidential elections.

"The GNR monitored the event, seeking in particular, to ensure the maintenance of public order", clarifies the GNR.

According to the statement, the police verified the participation of about 170 people in the event, in which meals were served.

The owner of the establishment was identified "in order to prepare the respective file and send it to the Public Prosecutor's Office of the Judicial Court of Braga, in order to determine any possible wrongdoing that may have occurred", adds the GNR.

With around 170 people distributed at round tables, the Sunday dinner / rally in Braga was the biggest initiative of the candidacy since the beginning of the official campaign period (10 January), since all previous rallies took place in spaces with audiences properly prepared to keep sanitary distance or collective meals with only a few dozen guests in restaurants.

Despite the “general duty of home care” and on a day when Portugal lost 152 more people to covid-19, the campaign director, André Ventura's national representative and member of Chega's national director, Rui Paulo Sousa, guaranteed that the event complied with the law. "All the events that we are holding are done through the districts, which contact the Directorate-General for Health (DGS), with the data and the compliance with all the distance rules, the tables and the places at the tables", he said .

André Ventura, in his election campaign actions, has strongly criticized the executive led by António Costa for what he considers to be incompetence and lack of planning in combating the new waves of the pandemic crisis. According to RTP, the National Civil Protection Authority (ANPC) had given a negative opinion to the event, which was later confirmed by the delegate to the Northern Regional Health Administration (ARSN).

Presidential elections, which take place in the midst of the covid-19 epidemic in Portugal, are scheduled for January 24 and this is the 10th time that the Portuguese have been called to choose the President of the Republic in democracy, since 1976.

The election campaign ends on January 22. Seven candidates are running for election, Marisa Matias (supported by the Left Block), Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa (PSD and CDS / PP) Tiago Mayan Gonçalves (Liberal Initiative), André Ventura (Chega), Vitorino Silva, better known as Tino de Rans , João Ferreira (PCP and PEV) and PS activist Ana Gomes (PAN and Livre).