The Socialist’s Path
- Born in Lisbon in 1961, Antonio Luis Santos da Costa is of Goan origin. His father spent most of his youth in the former Portuguese colony in India.
- In 1991, Costa became member of the Portuguese parliament, presenting as many as 20 law projects
- He was secretary of state from 1995 to 1997 and minister of parliamentary affairs (1997-99); organised Expo 98 which turned out to be a great success
- From October 1999 to April 2002, served as justice minister
- From June 2004 to March 2005, he was a member of the European parliament and was also elected as one of its 14 vice-presidents
- In 2007, he was elected mayor of Lisbon. He’s in his third term now.
- Since 2008, Costa has participated every Thursday in Quadratura do Circulo, a TV show where he debates current affairs with two right-wing politicians
In the political spectrum of Portugal, Antonio Luis Santos da Costa is a rare bird, for people actually like him. By the end of last September, the 52-year-old socialist had been re-elected mayor of Lisbon, with a third consecutive mandate (and last, according to the law), winning 50.9 per cent of the vote and 11 counsellors out of 17. This is an amazing feat given that the Portuguese political class has lost all credibility in the eyes of the electorate. Many already see the mayor breaking his four-year mandate to compete for the presidency of the Socialist Party in order to make himself prime ministerial candidate in the 2015 legislative elections.