Marcelo and Costa appeal for stability


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The President of the Republic warns that if the Prime Minister decides to leave the government he will dissolve the Parliament. António Costa recalled absolute majority of the PS a year ago.

The President of the Republic and the Prime Minister are on the same wavelength, dispelling the idea of governmental instability. This Tuesday, in turn, they had to pronounce themselves on the solidity of the executive in the face of the daily cases involving government leaders.

Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, on the day seven years since his first election to the Presidency, again ruled out a scenario of government resignation, but warned that a possible departure of António Costa would lead to the dissolution of Parliament.

The head of state reiterated that it makes no sense to dissolve Parliament “in the current framework of war, of the economic and financial crisis, of the existing situation with an absolute majority elected in elections not even a year ago,” and considered that “the majority of the Portuguese have understood, and so have the parties,” his position.

He then responded to those who suggest, as an alternative, the scenario of “dismissing the government” in order to “try, with the same majority, another government”, stating: “And if the prime-minister didn’t want to? It’s dissolution of the government. So it’s a false solution.” “This is something that in the Portuguese system implies immediate conflict between the President and the government, and so let’s be clear: at this moment it is unwise to think about dissolving Parliament, and there are no half ways,” he added.

On March 30, 2022, when he inaugurated the XXIII Constitutional Government, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa warned António Costa that “it will not be politically easy” to replace him at the head of the government in the middle of the legislature, hinting that, in that case, he would call early parliamentary elections.

“If the prime minister changes, there is dissolution of Parliament,” he said yesterday, referring to the “theoretical possibility of another prime minister from the PS area appearing.”

“There was dissolution of Parliament, because this majority was formed with a prime minister who ran not only as the leader of the party, but the leader of the government. It was very important, I said so in the inauguration speech, and therefore it was out of the question, that is, with another prime minister there would be dissolution of Parliament,” he reinforced.

According to the President, at this moment “the way forward is for the government to improve its governance, to correct what is not going well, so that it can go better,” and “for the opposition to continue its path of opposition, naturally more and more forceful, because that is what is natural, as the elections get closer.

Costa guarantees stability

António Costa also reiterated to journalists the need for political stability. Responding to André Ventura, who challenged Marcelo to “dismiss” the government – which he cannot do per se, since he can only dissolve Parliament – Costa stressed that it is almost a year since the Portuguese were called to vote and that, in the ballot boxes, they left a “clear message” that they want stability. “If stability was needed a year ago, today more than ever stability is needed. We have already managed to recover economically from the pandemic situation, businesses have managed to resist and move forward. Last year, for the first time, our exports were worth more than half of our Gross Domestic Product,” the Prime Minister argued.

At the same time, the Prime Minister was questioned about the revelation of the former Minister of Infrastructures that he knew about the 500 thousand euros compensation from TAP to Alexandra Reis, former Secretary of State for Finance, and expressed “surprise” that Pedro Nuno Santos knew about and validated the payment after all. Without wishing to dwell on the subject, the leader stressed only that he is waiting for the work of the Inspectorate General of Finance to be completed in order to know the full contours of this controversy.

“I was as surprised as you yourself, who found out that after all you had known and given authorization. The IRS didn’t know, it’s a point about which it’s not worth insisting at all. Everyone knows that there was no information whatsoever given to the Ministry of Finance,” said António Costa.

The leader of the government also took the opportunity to assure his full confidence in the Foreign Minister, João Gomes Cravinho, who was being heard in Parliament because of the slippage in the works of the former Military Hospital when he held the Defense portfolio in the previous government. With Lusa

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