Carlos Lopes Pires is the new Secretary of State for Defense

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The Prime Minister has appointed Carlos Lopes Pires to replace Marco Capitão Ferreira as Secretary of State for Defense. The proposal has been accepted by the President of the Republic and the inauguration is tomorrow.

The Prime Minister has appointed Carlos Lopes Pires to replace Marco Capitão Ferreira as Secretary of State for Defense, whoresigned after being involved in several controversies and having been constituted defendant in the context of Operation “Perfect Storm”. The proposal was accepted by the President of the Republic and the inauguration is scheduled for this Thursday at 7pm.

“The President of the Republic has accepted the Prime Minister’s proposal to appoint Carlos Alberto Raheb Lopes Pires as the new Secretary of State for National Defense of the XXIII Constitutional Government,” said the Presidency of the Republic, in a note published on the Presidency’s website . Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa also said that the inauguration is scheduled for this Thursday “at 7 pm at the Palace of Belém”.

Carlos Alberto Raheb Lopes Pires, 49, was until now director of the Strategic Defense Intelligence Service (SIED), which is part of the country’s secret service. A career diplomat, born in Beirut, he holds a degree in international relations from the Higher Institute of Social and Political Sciences of the Technical University of Lisbon and a master’s degree in European Studies from the London School of Economics.

The new Secretary of State is not new to politics. He has already been part of several ministerial cabinets, having been assistant to the then Minister of State and Foreign Affairs Luís Amado, between September 2010 and June 2011, assistant in the cabinet of Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho (from June 2011 to February 2013), chief of staff of the Assistant Secretary of State and European Affairs Miguel Morais Leitão (between February and July 2013), and chief of staff of the Minister of State and Foreign Affairs, Rui Manchete (from July 2013 to August 2014).

He will thus replace Marco Capitão Ferreira who was constituted accused on July 7 following judicial searches carried out by the Judicial Police (PJ) and the Public Prosecutor’s Office (MP) at his residence and at the Directorate-General for National Defense Resources, as part of Operation “Perfect Storm”, which already had at least 19 defendants. At issue are suspected criminal practices in the exercise of public functions, namely corruption and economic participation in business, according to the PJ statement.

The resignation of the former Secretary of State for Defense came on the day that Expresso reported that Marco Capitão Ferreira had hired a “ghost advisor” when he was president of the Defense Industries holding company, before entering the Government. Prior to that, it was known that Marco Capitão Ferreira charged €61,000 to the Ministry of Defense for advisory services that lasted five days.

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