PM goes head to head with opposition in TV debate

By TPN/Lusa, in News · 20-09-2019 01:00:00 · 0 Comments
PM goes head to head with opposition in TV debate

The televised debate between Portugal’s prime minister and opposition leader broadcast simultaneously on Monday by SIC, TVI and RTP1 was seen by more than 1 million viewers.

The debate between the leader of Portugal’s Socialist Party (PS) and prime minister, António Costa, and the president of the Social Democratic Party (PSD), Rui Rio, will be the only face to face televised debate to be broadcast before the election in Portugal on 6 October
Rui Rio raised the question of the increase in salaries of judges, approved by the government led by António Costa, when he was asked about what he can promise teachers in the next legislature, leading him to being accused of having an “obsession” with the justice system,
“Rui Rio is obsessed with the justice system, he does not like judges, he is the leader of the opposition to the public ministry. Fortunately, I do not have this obsession, I think that a democratic society needs a strong justice system,” Costa said.

Rio again criticised the fact that a teacher at the top of his career can earn as much as a probationary judge, responding to the PS leader, adding that it is because he likes the justice system that he is uncomfortable with what he is seeing.

They were more in agreement when they were asked if they considered it justified that processes, like those involving former Prime Minister José Sócrates and banker Ricardo Salgado, have not yet come to trial, with Rio responding more indignantly.

He said that instead of being tried in court, these trials are being held in public and on television, and asked if kangaroo courts are what the democracy is worth.

Costa said that only those who know the processes from the inside know the degree of complexity of the cases. He added that anyone with common sense agrees with what Rio said, that kangaroo courts are unacceptable, however adding that it is difficult for a case to be contained in the walls of a court nowadays.

According to the data from the GFK/FALL organisation released by the Impresa media group, on average around 1,067,000 people saw the head-to-head debate.

That was out of a total of 4,793,000 people who were watching television at the time.

SIC led in terms of the free-to-air channels, with a 22.3% share of the debate.

October’s general election is the 16th since democracy was established in Portugal in the wake of the 1974 Revolution. A record number of political forces – 20 parties and one coalition – are taking part.


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