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Since then, the PSD has lost votes against Chega, and analysts say that may be part of the reason the party is so interested in Ms Garcia. In many ways, his campaign seems less about whether it wins – the PSD hasn’t led Amadora in years – but more about changing the party’s image to respond more to political extremes.

“It is a sign that they are trying to engage with the ideology of the far right,” said Marina Costa Lobos, political scientist at the University of Lisbon. “By selecting this woman as a candidate for Amadora, who is ethnically diverse, they validate a certain discourse. “

For her part, Ms. Garcia says that she is often misunderstood. In an interview, she spoke about her childhood in Mozambique (where her father was based as a geologist) and coming to Portugal at the age of 12, an experience which she said gave her insight into the challenge of being an immigrant from Africa. Although white, she claims black ancestry (from a grandmother), noting that many of her relatives are darker than her.

In her television appearances, however, Ms. Garcia, 45, has a different tone. In 2016, she became a commentator on “SOS 24,” a crime-focused TV show, and quickly became known for her provocative language and heated debate style, which often involved yelling at those who didn’t. disagreed with her in the studio. Hate crimes was one of his most passionate topics.

In 2019, Luis Giovani dos Santos Rodrigues, a 21-year-old student from Cape Verde, was walking home after a party when a group of men armed with belts surrounded him and his friends. They beat Mr. dos Santos, who died in hospital a few days later.

Ms Garcia quickly engaged in an ensuing debate as to whether the attack should be treated as a hate crime.

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