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Portugal’s PAN (People-Animals-Nature) Party could be kingmaker

Oft-derided by critics as 'The Animal Party' that values animal rights higher than human ones, PAN argues that it seeks to promote a better world of harmony between humans and nature.

SERGIO CONGALVES: ‘They want lower taxes on pet food and oppose bull-fights: with these proposals, Portugal’s People-Animals-Nature party could become a kingmaker in a national election next week, its ratings swelled by voters like car factory worker Alexandre Corona.

Six years ago, Corona turned vegetarian after watching a documentary about the suffering of animals in the food industry and started looking for a political reflection of his beliefs, which he found in the then little-known PAN… Corona voted PAN in the last election in 2015, helping it enter parliament for the first time with a single seat in the 230-seat house…

“They defend animal rights: not just the rich ladies’ kitties and pooches, but all the animals, and the environment, that’s what attracted me,” said Corona, a 40-year-old dog owner, who transcends PAN’s typical big-city, student-age voter base… Oft-derided by critics as “The Animal Party” that values critter rights higher than human ones, PAN argues that it seeks to promote a better world of harmony between humans and nature…

In the Oct. 6 parliamentary election, PAN attracted more votes than in the previous election, riding a wave of popularity among pro-environment parties in much of Europe to land at least four seats… That could be just enough for Socialist Prime Minister Antonio Costa to make PAN his new ally if he fails to win a full majority… “It’s a very good result. I still wish it was more, because the country needs to move quickly to tackle the climate emergency,” PAN supporter Paulo Santos, 43, said at the party’s evening rally.

The party’s rise to a potentially decisive role in parliament is a sign of the times, in an age when the increasing fractiousness of politics in Western democracies is giving more power to movements once seen as having mainly niche appeal… PAN leader Andre Silva… told Reuters his party “does not see itself in the obsolete left-right dichotomy”.’  SOURCE…

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