Algarve tourism boss confirms he will not seek re-election

Decision follows confusion over term limit 

The president of the Algarve Tourism Board (RTA) has announced that he will not be seeking to be re-elected in the institution’s upcoming elections.

Speaking to Lusa news agency, João Fernandes said the decision boils down to the unclear legislation regarding the maximum number of terms allowed in regional tourism entities.

Tourism board presidents are limited to two terms at a single regional tourism board.

Before being elected president of RTA in 2018, João Fernandes had already served as the tourism board’s vice-president. And this is where the confusion begins.

The law regulating this matter (33/2013 of May 16) states that “members of the executive commission can only renew their mandate once.” What is unclear is whether this applies only to presidents or to every top official, Fernandes explained.

The RTA chief tried to clarify the matter with the Attorney General’s Office but to no avail.

“I received an answer saying that they can only respond to questions asked by Parliament, the government or the autonomous regions,” he said.

João Fernandes also tried to obtain a response from the Secretary of State of Tourism’s office, which replied that the matter could only be settled by RTA itself.

“I brought this matter to the RTA assembly, stating that the interpretation (of the law) is dubious as it can be interpreted both ways, and that I would not be running in order to not pose a problem to the institution,” he said.

Fernandes said, however, that he will be requesting clarification regarding this matter from the government and parliament.

João Fernandes will remain as president of RTA until the tourism board’s elections in June, he confirmed.

In the 2018 elections, Fernandes defeated the previous president Desidério Silva in a 17-11 vote.

At the time, the president was chosen through an electoral college. There were 32 entities that could vote: 16 local councils, 13 of the region’s business associations, two trade unions CGTP and UGT and the regional development commission CCDR.

It has not yet been confirmed whether this method will be used again.

By Michael Bruxo

[email protected]

Portugal Resident