Controversial proposals like chemically castrating pedophiles and making it mandatory for inmates to work gave André Ventura the nickname of "Portuguese Bolsonaro."
The comparison with Brazil's president-elect increased last month, when Ventura, 36, announced he was giving up his seat as councilman at Loures, a town near Lisbon, to found his political party.
Although he says he doesn't see why people compare him to Bolsonaro, the Portuguese politician express admiration for some of Bolsonaro's proposals, like the importance of public security and the defense for severe reforms.
"People like to label someone who deviates from the politically correct norm. In Portugal, the left-wing creates these labels based in names that they think Portuguese people don't like."
Last year, he was the "European Trump."
Like the US president, he surrounded himself with controversies because of his statements. In 2017, during his campaign to lead Loures' council, he said that gypsies "lived off the state's subsidies."
Like in other countries in Europe, gypsies are a socially vulnerable minority in Portugal.
Accused of racism and xenophobia, Ventura denied any prejudice against gypsies, but he continued to say they receive condescending treatment.
With an eye at the European Parlament elections in May 2019, Ventura is at the final stages of officially establishing his political party.
To gain the conservative vote, Ventura is proposing stricter laws, like increasing the maximum amount of jail time, now limited to 25 years, and a leaner state.
Translated by NATASHA MADOV
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