“One of the most determining factors for the successful integration of the Portuguese into society is political participation. When this involvement happens, it means that there is full integration. And, therefore, I see this as a very positive factor,” Paulo Cafôfo, Secretary of State for Portuguese Communities, told Lusa.
The Madeiran politician said he hoped that there would continue to be “a very large evolution in relation to the Portuguese, and Portuguese who want to participate in political life” and that “it is necessary to encourage this [so] that this can happen in the next elections”.
Diogo Costa, 23, the youngest candidate for councillor in Lambeth, South London, is running for the first time.
Also in Lambeth and running for the Labour party, is Sarina da Silva, 41, in the constituency of Waterloo and South Bank.
Sofia de Sousa, 32, is running for the second time for the Conservative Party in the constituency of Blackwall & Cubitt Town, in Tower Hamlets Chamber, in east London.
Luso-descendant Lucia das Neves will seek re-election for ‘Labour’ at the Haringey City Council, in the north of the British capital, for the Woodside Ward constituency.
Outside the capital, Januário Gusmão and Diogo Rodrigues, 32, are candidates for the Conservative Party for the Bridgwater City Council, in Sommerset, southwest England, for the constituencies of Eastover and Bridgwater East & Bawdrip, respectively.
Tiago Corais, 43, re-elected last year as a city councillor for the town of Littlemore, on the outskirts of Oxford, will run again this year due to the restructuring of the constituencies, this time for a four-year term.
In Wales, the councillor for the Portuguese Communities, Iolanda Banu Viegas, 48, is again a candidate in Wrexham for the Welsh nationalist party Plaid Cymru.
In Scotland, there is a Portuguese candidate for the first time, Martha Mattos Costa, 44, who is running for the Scottish National Party (SNP) in the Liberton/Gilmerton area of Edinburgh.