July 24, 2024

The Catholic Transcript

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A young Portuguese-British independent candidate for the UK Assembly elections

A young Portuguese-British independent candidate for the UK Assembly elections

“I Googled what it takes to become a candidate and I thought, why not try?”, he told the Lusa Institute in an interview in Ealing, west London.

After confirming he met the requirements, the young man used a break from his final secondary school exams to create a website and collect the 10 signatures required.

To run, a deposit of 500 pounds (590 euros) is required, which is returned only if the candidate receives 5% of the vote in the constituency.

Conceição said his mother was “tired of being laughed at” but supported him as long as the campaign did not interfere with the exams necessary to enter university.

With grandparents from Mozambique and Guinea-Bissau, Pedro da Conceição moved to the United Kingdom with his mother when he was a few months old.

Although his parents, both Portuguese, were separated, his father was already working in the British capital.

“I have these two completely different cultures, but they are very, very important in my life,” he told Lusa.

The youngest of the candidates for these legislative elections, Canceio takes a center-left political orientation, defending the need for public services but also recognizing the value of the “element of capitalism”.

“I think humanity and human values ​​should be at the center [da política] I feel that the problem is that people are losing touch with humanity. “I feel like there should be this area of ​​social assistance,” he told Lusa.

Interested in politics from an early age, although his parents were not activists, at the age of 16, Pedro da Conceião joined the Labor Party, but later left and became interested in the Liberal Democrats.

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“I feel there is no center-left option, a reasonable middle ground that includes compassionate values ​​and strong economic policies, and that’s why I decided to run,” he explained.

According to the Portuguese-British man, “an independent candidate can provide a better representation of the community because he is not attached to any party policy”.

Conceição wants to “meet the voters, gather the opinions of the community, find out what they really want people to think, and then present them to Parliament.”

“This is how a good democracy works. This is how we ensure that everyone’s voice is heard,” he argues, lamenting that the youth are not adequately represented in Parliament.

Pedro da Conceição is the candidate for the Ealing Southall constituency, where Labor won with 60.8% of the vote in 2019.

The youngster believes the conflict in Gaza and its reluctance to uphold a ceasefire and protect the Palestinians will penalize Labor in an area with many voters of foreign origin, particularly Indians.

“My aim is to make a dent in the Labor vote and a dent in our current democratic system. We need to evaluate our ‘first past the post’ system. [maioria simples] “Let’s think of another political system,” he suggested.