Santos Silva excludes Chega from his visits to foreign parliaments

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After the incident at the welcome session for Lula da Silva, which will be discussed at a leaders’ conference on May 10, the president of the Portuguese Parliament has prohibited Chega from visiting foreign parliaments.

According to a note from the office of the President of the Portuguese Parliament, Santos Silva informed the leaders’ conference today that he will no longer be accompanied by Chega deputies “whenever his travels on official visits to other parliaments include contacts with heads of state, heads of government, or foreign ministers.”

In the note, Santos Silva argues that the representatives of Chega have demonstrated through their actions that they cannot guarantee “100% that they respect these high entities and, more generally, the obligations of respect and courtesy that have long distinguished and characterized Portugal’s external action.”

“This criterion applies immediately and means the exclusion of any representative of the Enough Parliamentary Group,” the note states.

André Ventura, leader of Chega, described this decision to journalists in the Assembly of the Republic as “the zero degree of democracy” and “a vindictive, childish, and dictatorial attitude.

“Chega demonstrated yesterday [Tuesday], as the entire nation witnessed; it was a demonstration within our mandate as Portuguese parliamentarians and representatives of the Portuguese people. The imposition of sanctions discredits the legislature and exacerbates an already tense climate of conflict, he stated.

Additionally, the leader of Chega stated that there is “no regulatory or regimental norm that permits the application of sanctions” and argued that Santos Silva’s decision is “pure arbitrariness and discretion.”

Contrary to this interpretation, Pedro Delgado Alves emphasized that this decision has “all the formal bases,” as only the President of the Assembly of the Republic has the authority to determine the composition of the delegations that accompany him abroad.

“It’s not a punishment, it’s just saying that anyone who is not available abroad or at home to respect a foreign head of state (…) cannot risk the credibility, prestige, and respect that the Assembly of the Republic wants other allied and friendly states to have for the Portuguese Republic,” he explained.

During the leaders’ conference, it was also decided that on May 10 there would be an analysis and reflection of the incident involving Chega that occurred during the welcome session for Brazilian President Luiz Inácio ‘Lula’ da Silva.

At that session, at the beginning of Lula da Silva’s speech, the members of Chega stood up and displayed three types of placards: “No more corruption”, “A thief’s place is in prison”, and others in the colors of the Ukrainian flags.

The Brazilian president continued his speech for a few more minutes, but as soon as there was a pause, the benches on the left and the PSD applauded enthusiastically, while the Chega party members banged on the table in the form of a pateada, prompting Augusto Santos Silva to intervene.

“Deputies who wish to remain in the chamber must conduct themselves with the urbanity, courtesy, and politeness expected of any representative of the Portuguese people. Santos Silva, visibly irritated, exclaimed, “Enough insults, enough degrading institutions, enough disgracing Portugal’s reputation!”

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