Isilda Cerqueira

The Most Honorable

Isilda Cerqueira
Isabel Díaz Ayuso visita un centro de FP Dual (33690566148) (cropped).jpg
Isilda Cerqueira in 2021
Premier of Paretia
Assumed office
11 August 2020
MonarchErasmo
DeputySelena Caprichoso
Horácio Pacau
Preceded byVasco Gonçalves
Chairwoman of the Patron League
Assumed office
15 June 2021
Preceded byPosition established
Congresswoman of Cresceu
Assumed office
6 August 2021
Preceded byCristiano Gomes
Congresswoman of Cresceu
In office
4 August 2017 – 11 August 2020
Preceded byElvira Patino
Succeeded byCristiano Gomes
Congresswoman of Cresceu
In office
9 August 2008 – 11 August 2011
Preceded byMário De Souza
Succeeded byElvira Patino
Personal details
Born
Isilda Sã Fausta Cerqueira

3 May 1979 (Aged 42)
Cresceu, Luzela
Political partyPatron League (2021-present)
Independent (2019-2021)
Conservative Union (2007-2019)
Spouse(s)Nicolau Ferrer (m. 2008)
Children2:
Marisa
Ângela
Alma materUniversity of Trovão, Mercurius et Vulcanus University

Isilda Sã Fausta Cerqueira (Born 3 May 1979) is a Paretian activist, businesswoman, journalist, radio host, and politician, who is currently serving as Premier of Paretia since her appointment to the office in 2020.

Cerqueira has spent most of her career as a journalist for the Os Quatro newspaper, and would later become popular amongst the populist right-wing in Paretia. She would become a radio host and go on to have her own political talk show Voz de Isilda. She then ran and served as a member of the Câmara Do Congresso for the district of Cresceu, in north-east Luzela. She would leave for one term to run her show and returned into politics and ran for the district again. She has historically been a member of the Conservative Union, but then became an independent after leaving the party due to her belief that the party is far too pro-EC and moderate. The party became greatly dissatisfied with her politics and wanted her out, so she would leave in 2019. She is serving as Premier of Paretia as part of a deal to form a government between the Conservative Union and Patron League. Her first year showed a biased towards the populists and little progress between the factions.

In 2021, dissatisfied with the state of the government, she would join the Patron League and become the Chairwoman of the Party and served with Selena Caprichoso as leaders of the party. They would have a snap election called for August 4, which saw the LP win big againt the UC and moderates and against the SD. She would form a new far-right government, which is more aligned with her and the LP's ideals, alongside with the Alternative Party. The new government would be known as O Povo.

As Premier of Paretia cerqueira has enacted many laws that are considered center-right, such as tax cuts and higher military and law enforcement spending, although through the first year of her term as Premier her government has hit many roadblocks due to disagreement within the old government coalition. She is widely popular amongst the right-wing of Paretia and Euclea, the Patron League sees her as a leading figure for all of the populists in the country.

She is a very controversial political figure and is considered center-right to far-right by many who are in opposition to her government. She is even considered controversial amongst the moderate right wing in Paretia, who believe she is too radical for them. Cerqueira has described her own ideology as right-wing populist, hard euclosceptic and nationalist.

Early Life and Career

Cerqueira was born in Cresceu, Luzela on the 3rd of May, 1979. She grew up in a fairly well off family, her father, Luzio Cerqueira, was the head of a shipping company in Trovão and her mother, Safira, was a playwright and was the assistant manager of the Cresceu Theatre. She attended Sucesso Do Dia School District, a private school in Trovão and would study Radio and Television and well as Economics at the University of Trovão, she became a radio host for her the university's student radio station. She would later attend the nation's most prestigious college, Mercurius et Vulcanus University in Precea, to study Journalism, Arts, and Political Science, her she also become a host at her student radio station at U MEV, she would be one of the hosts of the university's political news radio show. She would conduct debates with other students live on the show. She would later go on to work as an assistant at various news agencies between 2002-2003.

Radio Career

Cerqueira with former Conservative Union Congressman Franco Jimenez in 2006

She would start out in her political as a reporter for the paper A Vidiera in 2003. In 2005 would later move on to becoming a co-host for the right wing political radio show O Fato é Que hosted by a popular conservative comedian, Benjamim Ferreira, she became a "side character" on the show and would become close friends with Ferreira. She turned out to be a popular member of the show and was a favorite among it's fans. At this time she became a major conservative activist among the populist wing of the the Conservative Union. Os Quatro, the media corporation in charge of the show, would giver Cerqueira her own show in 2006. The show was called Voz de Isilda, her popularity soared immediately, as well as her controversy. Her anti-EC rhetoric was criticized by her own party regularly and many of it's members, particularly the party leadership, tried to distance themselves from Cerqueira.

WIP

Despite all of the controversies, Voz de Isilda would become a top 10 show in all four of the Kingdoms of the Paretia. In 2007, she would announce her campaign to run for a seat in the Câmara Do Congresso representing the congressional district for Cresceu. She would be accepted as the candidate for the Conservative Union in the election. She would run against tough Social Democrat and Liberal competition but would narrowly win the district and become the first woman to represent the district of Cresceu as well as the first radio host to become a member of the Senado da Paretia.

Congressional Career

First Congressional Term

She was welcomed by the populist wing of the legislature and instantly became a controversial figure in the congress. In her first term from 2008 to 2011, the Conservative Union and their allies were in the minority opposition as the Social Democrats and The Greens won big in the election overall.

WIP

In 2011 would announce she would not run for another term as she wanted to continue her earlier career and expand her radio show to beyond radio and expand to social media.

Between terms

Cerqueira with populist candidates at a rally in 2014

She would return to regularly hosting her show Voz De Isilda in 2011, where she would expand to becoming a political figure on various social media. She made herself a populist activist and would regularly criticize the now-in-power Conservative Party lead by newly appointed Premier Vasco Gonçalves. She would endorse populists only during elections and ignored the other members of the party. many thought she was going to join a new party or even make her own. In 2014, 2015, and 2016, her radio show was #1 in the country and many thought she could become a powerful political figure again in the future.

In 2013 she would tell the Conservatives that "The CU brand is changing from crony capitalist hacks, evolve along with it or be left in the dust in the future" this statement would lead to a attempt to expel Cerqueira from the party which ending in failure. In June 2016 she praised then-Etrurian President candidate Francesco Carcaterra and his Tribune Movement as a "great candidate for the Etrurian people" and "prime example of what our party should look to for answers to questions of it's direction". This statement was met with backlash from the mostly pro-EC members of the party, anti-Tribune Movement Etrurians and Premier Conçalves. She would later praise the newly formed populist Patron League led by Selena Caprichoso, a former Conservative Union member that would form a party with other populists, however, Cerqueira only praised them as an example of what the CU should become. When asked if she would leave her own party or make a new one, she said that it is "too risky and the chances of succeeding against the established parties would be difficult to overcome".

Her controversy continued and in December 2016 she would call she called those who vote pro-EC candidates "traitors that should go live somewhere else and stop contaminating the gene pool here in Paretia". This lead to her show being put on hold by Os Quatros. The stalling and then termination of her show would become the main factor in her decision to again for the Câmara do Congresso in 2017, again as the Conservative candidate for Cresceu. She would win narrowly against tough competition from the Catholics for Liberty candidate. In her acceptance speech she apologized to the her past controversies and pledged to start a more civil second term.

Second Congressional Term

Cerqueira giving a speech before the Câmara Do Congresso in 2019

Cerqueira's second term would last from 2017 to 2020. She would attempt to keep her new promise and becoming a less controversial voice among the populists in the congress. In the congress she would begin to grow a close relationship with another new populist party that made it's first appearance in congress that year, the Alternative Party let by former Catholics for Liberty party member Horácio Pacau. His Party was similar to the Selena Caprichoso's Patron League however was more economically socialist and was more popular among radical centrists. Despite their differences, Cerqueira would become very supportive of these new populists. During her term, she many times would vote against the mainstream Conservative Union bills that the populists were against, even voting alongside the Social Democrats to stop such bills from being passed. However about 70% of the bills proposed by the CU, she voted in favor of, it wasn't until the later half of her term she would begin to go against the party leadership again.

In a few cases Cerqueira criticized the government of Vasco Gonçalves, saying that they are attempting to put Paretia under complete control of the EC in exchange for benefits and bribes. Despite this, she was still supportive of the CU, and voted on some of the CU's most important bills on their agenda such as taxes, immigration, and military funding. Many defined this period of Cerqueira's career as a time where she wanted to change the CU from within and "save the party" and not make new parties, using up more resources and taking in too much risk. However despite this she was still criticized, especially by the media for her brash tone which she still had, even though she promised a more civil second term at the congress. Due to this, in September 2018 she would call the media "members of the cabal of EC conspirators trying to strip away Paretian independence, they hate the Paretian citizen, they just attack me because I'm in the way of them." This only ramped up the negative coverage of Cerqueira. The SD official newspaper Mudança coming out with a headline calling her "The Nationalist Witch of Paretia" who "casts deceptive spells of hope and freedom on the working class for their votes and attention", however the name has stuck and she would use it as a badge of honor for herself, calling herself "The Witch" and on halloween wore a witch costume to congress.

In November 2018, a vote to pass a bill to move much of the nuclear energy funding to the EC, particularly the ECB in Paretia was proposed, it was supported by the Conservative establishment and Social Democrats. However the bill would not make it through when multiple populists from the Social Democrats and Conservative Party, led by Cerqueira, allied with the Alternatives and Patron League to stop the bill from moving forward from the Congress. This angered much of the Conservative Leadership and lead to the party nearly abandoning any funding or donations to those who voted against it, leading to multiple announcements of party-switches in the 2020 election by populists in the CU. In 2019 the party would announce that they will run a challenger against Cerqueira in the district of Cresceu for the 2020 election, in response, Cerqueira would announce that at the end of her term she will leave the Conservative Union and become an independent, as well as announcing that she will not run again in 2020 but instead will become a leader for the conservatives and populists of Paretia, and began supporting candidates of all parties in the election in July.

During the 2020 election she would heavily fund Selena Caprichoso and the Patron League as well as the Alternative Party and even would donate to the Esmeira Party led by Salvador Modesto. She would begin starting anti-EC rallies and became a big media figure debating on multiple news channels and radio stations. While supporting the populists in the country she also began to heavily attack the Social Democrats, who much of the polls predicted to make big gains in the 2020 election. She would liken them as "false communists who hate the worker and love the EC".

The results of the 2020 Paretian Election saw a giant leap in growth of the Patron League and Alternative Party. The Patron League would now have 66 seats in the Congresso and 18 in the Senado, making them the third largest party in Paretia after the Conservative Union and Social Democrats. Cerqueira would congratulate Selena Caprichoso on her victory.

2020 Government Formation

Cerqueira at her inauguration in August 2020

After the 2020 election, the Patron League and Alternative Party had enough sway to threaten to collapse their coalition with the Conservative Union and others, which would lead to a hung parliament. The Patron League asked for a complete reformation of the current government and an independent to be installed as Premier, the first since 1946. They were also open for a third party intermediary to serve as Premier. They also demanded that the cabinet be rearranged to fit the parties and their size in the Senado da Paretia and that there be two Deputy Premiers, one from the Patron League and one from the Conservative Union, as they are the two largest coalition members and nearly equal in size.

The Conservative Union was worried that the Social Democrats could gain power if they did not make a deal with the Patron League, and would accept for a new government to be formed. Under the new government the two Deputy Premiers would be Carlos Del Alvarez, the incumbent from the UC. The other would be Paulo Sérgio Lima, the Deputy Leader of the LP and member of the Câmara da Assembleia. The cabinet would be divided accordingly to party size in the legislature.

As for the position of Premier, the Patron League originally called for Demétrio Rego, a member of the Alterative Party to become an independent and become Premier, but he would decline the offer. The Patron League looked for independents instead and the only popular and well known independent in the country was Isilda. So Cerqueira would be called for a meeting with the Monarch, King Erasmo to discuss the position of Premier. Erasmo endorsed her for the position and after the meeting she would meet with party leaders in the coalition, and they would also accept her as Premier, despite some hesitation among moderates who view her as too far-right.

Cerqueira would be appointed Premier in early August, the new government would pass a vote of confidence on August 8th, and would be inaugurated on August 11th, she would become the second female Premier in Paretia after Manuela Morais, and the second independent Premier after WIP.

Premiership

Independent Premiership (2020-2021)

Her first year as Premier Cerqueira formed a cabinet made up of many parties, and had to tread carefully on what agenda she wanted to have done. Her first major law as Premier was to expansion of the Paretian Law Enforcement agencies, which including adding new police units tasked with dealing with corruption in the government. However it was later disbanded after backlash from the UC and LdP. Her first year did not see much as the very broad coalition disagreed on many issues.

Cerqueira at the opening of a new fire station, 2020.

She also signed the creation of the Paretian Forest Repair Task Force in October 2020, along with Environment Minister Hector Moya, with the goal of clearing out forests of flammable and dead things such as wood and leaves in order to prevent forest fires, which had seen a growth in Esmeira hurting some vineyards in the region. She has tasked paying of contractors to help build protective barriers of at vineyards and farms to protect them from brush fires. This received praise in being able to cause a reduction in the 2021 rate of forest and brush fires by around 16% from 2020. She also signed a massive funding bill to create new "bases" for firefighters in forest fire prone regions, especially around the city of Vallenoche, which becomes threatened by fires multiple times a year, as well as new equipment for the force. She also raised salaries for firefighters to create an incentive and raise the number of firefighters available, which was able to increase the number of firefighters in Paretia by 40,000. Her expansion of the Paretian firefighting force has been credited in a decline of forest fire damage and forest fire frequency in the last year.

Her next bill was the expansion of the Ministry of Government Affairs in February 2021, which came after her UC Government Affairs Minister André Soares resigned, she replaced him with LP Terezinha Roque, which has been considered controversial, as Roque has been accused of expanding the LP's influence into the government. She has been called the "hall monitor of the populist right" by SD leader Esmeralda Falcão, and is said to "patrol the government and make sure they are aligned with Cerqueria and the LP's views."

Cerqueira then moved onto law and order issues, namely border policing. In April 2021 she created the Revamped Law and Order Package, with the goal of funding new police defences for the Paretian Border Agency and the Paretian Maritime Agency. It saw the funding and creation of 22 new maritime bases for the agency along the coast to stop illegal immigration and illicit substances from entering the country, and the expansion of Paretia's border fences and police stations along the western border. It also a further militarization of the police units with more heavily armed patrol boats and equipment. It also expanding the humanitarian aide supplies that the Maritime Agency can use when dealing with refugees trapped on the coast.

Later in the year she became further and further emboldened to use her populist right-wing rhetoric in her governing. During the Etruria LGBT+ free zone controversy, she defended them. Saying " "I will not condemn Etruria today. The six states are doing what every good Euclean government should do, what the people voted for. It is the choice of the Etrurian people in these states to govern themselves as they see fit. The EC elite are of course furious they can't control them and force the LGBT agenda onto the people of Etruria. The Tribunes are a shining example of true leadership for the people. I would also like to praise Etruria on their decision to bring the power to the people by giving them a referendum on the future of their government, it is a true moment of democracy in Euclea. I wish the Etrurian people luck in their decisions this summer." This lead to massive backlash from the moderate right and left, setting the stage for the continuing split of the coalition.

2021 elections

After Cerqueira praised the Etrurian LGBT+ rights laws and stopped the UC's tax cuts due to upper class tax cuts, Cerqueira decided she no longer wanted to work with the moderates anymore. In 2021 she would join the populist Patron League and rescind her status as an independent and called for a snap election. This would lead the UC and LdP leaving the coalition government and a dissolving of the Senado da Paretia. King Erasmo would enact a snap election on August 4th. The election saw the UC, LdP, CpL, and Greens fall in popularity as the LP, SD, SPIT, and Alt rose.

Cerqueira began campaigning as co-leaders of the LP with Selena Caprichoso, and used much populist rhetoric. During a speech in Pancarta, Cerqueira said that she had "given up on the Conservative Union. I may have joined the LP later than others, but now it is clear, as Premier, I will lead the populist revolt against the EC alongside you, the people. My entire political career before this was spent trying to save the old right from being corrupted by the EC and the elite's indulgences, it appears they fell for it, and betrayed the people of Paretia to them[the EC]. Now my drive is to destroy them, and stop the so called "Pink Wave" the SD claims is coming here." Much of her speeches contain similar messages of "saving the people" since the "old parties"(the UC, CpL, and LdP) betrayed them.

Cerqueira giving her victory speech to supporters in Precea

At first the SD was leading in polls, just barely, ahead of the LP. In some cities, violence broke out between the paretian neo-functionalists, who would support Cerqueira and the LP, and counter-protesters. The election was likened to that of 1925, which saw massive violence between the far-right and the far-left, and the eventual rise of Carlito Palmeira.

The 2021 Trovão elections scandal, an attempt to stop the LP from winning the election by banning them from the ballots, lead to a massive growth in the popularity of the LP. On election night she would return to win back her former district of Cresceu, now as a member of the Patron League, and the party would go on to win a majority with their Alternative Party. Becoming the first self-proclaimed far-right Paretian government since the functionalist state.

The Alt Party and the LP would form a new euclosceptic populist political alliance known as O Povo (The People). Many cabinet positions were switched around, former Deputy Premier Paulo Sérgio Lima returned to his position as Minister of Culture, António De Armas would switch from Labour minister and become the new Foreign Minister of Paretia. Two new Deputy Premiers would serve alongside Cerqueira, them being Caprichoso, to represent the LP, and Pacau, to represent the Alt. The first law passed by the new government would be the Buy Euclea Initiative, which saw almost unanimous support from the SD and SPIT.

Patron League and O Povo Premiership (2021-)

With control of the government now much easier for Cerqueira alongside the Patron League and Alternative Party, Cerqueira began to enact her more right-wing populist policies under the O Povo government. Unlike her first year as an Independent, Cerqueira has been able to complete her agenda much faster. Her policies shifted dramatically to the right and were much more radical than before. She has been able to enact policies more aligned with her own ideology.

Protectionist policy

The first bill passed by the O Povo government was the Buy Euclean Steel Initiative, a policy started by Social Democrats in Gaullica and Caldia to promote and incentivize home-grown steel plants over foreign steel companies. Multiple other Euclean Community nations had already joined the initiative. The bill passed with near unanimous support from the left-wing and O Povo parties. It drew little criticism, except from pro-free trade parties such as the Liberals of Paretia, and the environmentalist Greens. It is seen as a trade protectionist policy, which Cerqueira and the LP overwhelming support. Cerqueira stated that the policy will be protect Paretia's steel workers and help keep the country's infrastructure safe from "dangerous" Shangean steel. It is seen as a rare instance of social democrats and right-wing populists working together on the same policy and agreeing upon it.

Cerqueira would later introduce massive hikes on protection tariffs on agricultural and industrial trade from countries like Shangea and Zorasan. She believes that the two nations are "not fair" on their own trade policy, and that in response, Paretia will also be unfair to those nations. She also heightened tariffs on other nations, such as nations in the Asterias and other parts of Coius. However, her economic policy is heavily lenient on Euclean nations, which, although experiencing tariff increases, had the least increase of tariffs by the Cerqueira government compared to other countries. Along with her tariffs, Cerqueira and the LP created the "Iniciativa Comprar Caseiro" (Buy Homemade Initiative), which is an initiative that promotes buying home-grown products such as produce, building materials, and automotive parts, instead of foreign products.

Anti-Corruption policy

When she won the election, Premier Cerqueira announced that she planned on dealing with those involved in the 2021 Trovão elections scandal and rid of them.In August 2021 Cerqueira's Minister of Public Security Terezinha Roque announced the creation of the Corruption Investigations Service, a new branch of the Paretian Civil Guard. It is assigned with the goal of investigation and getting rid of corrupt government officials, it was tasked with investigation the Trovão elections scandal. It was also assigned with a sweeping investigation of all national government officials to search for corruption and illegal activity and remove them from the government. It has been called by critics as the centralization of party politics into the law enforcement of Paretia and is seen as a weapon for the Patron League to use against opposition leaders in the government. In October 2021 the SIC arrested many in relation to the Trovão scandal.

Law and Order

Reforma Tributária Popular

Cerqueira refused to back the UC proposed tax cuts in May and June 2021 before joining the Patron League, she sided with the LP that the upper class should not have reduced taxes. In August 2021 she would announce a tax reform bill known as the "People's Tax Reform" (Reforma Tributária Popular). This bill would cut taxes on Paretia's working class and middle class and significantly on the country's lowest earners. However, the bill did not lower the taxes of Paretia's upper class, and even proposed to raise the taxes on the highest 1% of Paretia. The LP claimed that this class is made up of "traitors" and "thieves" of the people, and must "pay their share accordingly".

The Bill also announced that they would remove millions of Paretian lower class workers from the burden of income tax by increasing the tax brackets, and drastically cuts taxes on the middle class. But it also removed what the LP calls "unfair tax burdens" on all brackets, including ending the inheritence tax on all of Paretia.

Cerqueira and the Patron League have stated they do not believe in the idea of lowering taxes on the upper class, calling it the "trickle-down lie". The bill was met with controversy and seen merely as a slap-in-the-face towards Paretia's upper class, LdP leader Barboza called it a "Showcase of radical populist power against an easy scapegoat".

Religion

Cerqueira with catholic supporters from the Sisterhood of Presépio, 2020

In August 2021 Cerqueira's government made Solarian Catholic Sotirianity the official religion of Paretia. Paretia had been secular since the fall of the functionalist state of the PNNP and Carlito Palmeira and the creation of the republic under Xulio Sousa, who believed that church and state working together would bring back functionalist rule. This was followed by various changes pertaining to religion, many of which increase the closeness between church and state. Including the creation mandatory prayer at government meetings and public schools. They also created a new class that would be mandatory Paretia's school curriculum that teaches Sotirian scripture and interpretations of it, as well as Sotirian theory and history. These changes saw pushback from the Social Democrats, who called it "neo-functionalist". Cerqueira and other LP leaders said that Paretia's culture "owes much of what it is" to Solarian Catholicism and Sotirianity. They also believe that Paretia's morals are founded on Sotirianity and that in order to keep moral order, Sotirianity must be promoted. In order to ease controversy, the LP government have made plans on instituting "minority" faiths that will be recognized by the government, but not "official" like Solarian Catholicism.

Education

Cerqueira's religion changes would create a new mandatory class that would teach children Sotirian scripture. In September 2021 Cerqueira and Selena Caprichoso announced a bill that would change the curriculum of Paretian schools and removed many social science classes with STEM-centered classes, as well as a mandatory event for women to get them interested in STEM fields. These were part of Caprichoso's "Woman's Cultural Reform" bills.

Women's rights

In September 2021 Cerqueira and Selena Caprichoso's "Women's Cultural Reform Bills" that would change many laws pertaining to women. These including creating STEM classes for women, and a mandatory STEM event for women. It also including an expansion of Maternity leave from 16 weeks to 26 weeks.

These proposals would include an abortion bill that would shut down most of Paretia's government public-funded abortion clinics. It would also ban most abortions, only allowing abortions if the pregnancy "threatened the life of the mother, child, or both". The bill has been heavily criticized by the opposition, called an "attack on women" and saw many protests across the country.

The O Povo government would also greatly increase the punishments for rape, child abuse, and domestic abuse. They would also make illegal abortions on the same legal level as murder, which they believe that abortion is.

ConstruFam

Personal life