Tha Mayor of Funchal has been holding dinners in support of his candidacy for the Madeira PSD leadership, his supporters say they have been victim of threats and intimidation.
Among the measures denounced are the orders for public entities to 'scratch from the map' the owners of the restaurants where the dinners are held.
Some of the people present at the dinners have been summoned to the Presidential Palace and asked to reveal whether signatures have been collected at these dinners to press for a Party Convention in Spring next year. They allege that a number of supporters who are civil servants have been summoned by their superiors and questioned as to whether they know who they work for.
Worse pressures and outright persecutions have been long denounced by members of the opposition and civil society and even one or two high ranking PSD members have also resigned over the years in protest. Jardim's Party have always denied these practices, until now, when their own party members are being subjected to the same tactics long used to intimidate and persecute members of the opposition and dissenting voices from civil society.
One former militant and former shareholder in a company which won many government contracts and has since emigrated in disgust, told me the internal jargon used for these pressures is 'a lei do massacre' (the law of massacre). It consists of using every kind of concievable pressure both economic and from public entities to turn an individual's life into a living hell, until they cave in or have their livelihood and life personal life destroyed.