Filipe Araújo, President of Porto, Nosso Movimento: “It would be a great honor to be Mayor of Porto”

Filipe Araújo, one of Rui Moreira's right-hand men in the municipal executive of Porto, recently took over as head of the civic association Porto, our movement. This may have been the first step for him to become the new independent candidate for the Chamber of Porto in the 2025 elections, thus continuing his three consecutive terms.

"If you ask me if I would like it, I think it would always be a huge honor for anyone from Porto who loves the city like me to be mayor." This is how Filipe Araújo answered, ending a series of questions aimed at knowing whether or not he would run for mayor of Porto. For the time being, he will ensure the continuity of these ideas, by not letting die the independent movement which was at the origin of the election of Rui Moreira for three consecutive terms and which has around “400 members”.

Known as "the dolphin" of Rui Moreira, Filipe Araújo, 46, an electrical engineer, has nearly three years to test his potential voters and become a better known face in the city. "These years will be important to give notoriety to the work that has been done and which suggests a promising future for the city," he said, in yet another episode of Irrévocable, the political interview program of VISÃO.

After being a member of the JSD and even holding positions in the local structures of the PSD, Filipe Araújo ended up breaking his partisan career when Luis Filipe Menezes left the municipality of Gaia and ran for Porto, in the 2013 elections , the first year of Rui Moreira's victory.

“When I realized that there were proposals for the city, in particular from the PSD, with which I did not identify, obviously I tried to say that it was not the right way. From the moment I realized that this was the path the party wanted to follow, I thought, as a free citizen, that I could work on another solution for the benefit of the city,” he says. -he. It was then that he joined the independent candidacy of Rui Moreira. “I am absolutely convinced that I made the right decision. This movement, in which few believed, won a historic victory in 2013”.

Filipe Araújo, former deputy in the municipal assembly, becomes an advisor in Rui Moreira's team, accumulating the portfolios of Innovation and digital transition and of the environment and climate transition. In 2017, the mayor of Porto entrusted him with the team's second place, entrusting him with the vice-presidency. For Filipe Araújo, it is "a pride" to deserve this trust and "an honor" to serve the city.

Now, a little less than three years before the elections in which Rui Moreira can no longer stand for having reached the limit of three consecutive terms, Filipe Araújo takes the lead of the independence movement which had Rui Moreira as "glue, so that he does not t turn off. “It is an important path for the movement, which wants to continue to give strength to what is the legacy that has been built. A lot of work has been done since 2013,” he says. “It is a free movement, without ideological ties, which wants to continue to be a solid platform for discussion and participation and to work on the best ideas. »

Is there a future for such a movement without Rui Moreira? “My mission is to ensure that Porto continues to be managed in a free and independent way, that management is done without ideological ties, without party repertoires that impose another vision. This is what motivated me to present proposals for continuity to the people of Porto”.

And he goes on to say: “We want to avoid populist or pseudo-reformist inclinations, those which normally want to make a difference for themselves. What is at stake is a movement of continuity and that in 2025 there is a proposal for the future of the city, which must guarantee this stability and this continuity”.

parties and independents

Filipe Araújo declined to comment on the recent abandonment of the Movement by Ricardo Valente, adviser for economy and finance, who last year joined the Liberal Initiative (the party that supported Rui Moreira's last election). Porto, Nosso Movimento, brings together people from the PSD – like the Baron of the North, Valente de Oliveira, who no longer holds social functions – and people from the IL and the CDS. “The citizens' movement brings together people from different ideological backgrounds, but that does not separate us. What unites us is our link with the city”, emphasizes Filipe Araújo.

Considering that parties “are essential to democracy”, Filipe Araújo thinks that they often fail because they focus more on their own interests than on citizens' problems. He cites the example of the leadership of Luisa Salgueiro (PS) in the Association of Municipalities during the transfer of competences in education from the central state to local government, which led to the departure of the Chamber of Porto .

"We have to hit the table every time we see Porto not being defended. And it's not about raising your voice without being right, it's about defending people and Porto. Whenever it is necessary to show our outrage, we must do so,” he adds. “Civic movements manage to bring to the political stage what is the will of citizens and which is often not aligned with party repertoires. »

According to him, "presenting, in 2013, a different strategy from those on the table", something more "focused" on Porto's problems, "was a moment of transformation". Because "there is always the temptation for the parties to present candidates with great notoriety, but who do not know Porto". And "you have to walk the streets of Porto" to know "the problems of the citizens" and "not to be afraid to bring them to the public square".

Filipe Araújo also says that working with Rui Moreira over these 10 years has been a "continuous learning experience", as he is someone who is "very insightful", who "reads situations very quickly, a very clear reading policies and their contexts. And that's something I learned from him. “It's important because every decision we make with politicians has a context. »

Coming to regionalization without a referendum

After reviewing the central issues of the city, such as housing or drugs, regionalization was also an important theme.

“I am absolutely convinced that the asymmetrical development and the lack of territorial cohesion from which the country suffers are very much linked to the failure to respect what is in the constitution, namely regionalization. The decision-making power is very centralized, not only in the ministries, but also in the regional directorates, in the subordination of the regional directorates to the direction of Lisbon, ”he believes.

He criticizes the fact that the PRR is “completely centralized in Lisbon, without the participation of regions and municipalities”, which “makes no sense”. And even the recent alleged cases of municipal corruption, such as Espinho or Caminha, do not deter him from the idea that municipal power is better able to solve the problems of citizens. The rest, “is looking at the tree without seeing the forest”.

“We know that regionalization is stuck in a putative referendum that will have to be done, something that has come to postpone the regionalization that we should have already had. It's a delaying process,” he concludes.

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