EUROPE 09.11.23 22:22
Rapid developments after the resignation of Socialist Prime Minister Antonio Costa.
Portugal’s President Marceau Rebelo de Souza has announced early elections for March 10 this evening, following the surprise resignation of Socialist Prime Minister Antonio Costa as he is embroiled in a major corruption investigation.
The president of the country announced, however, that the parliament will not be dissolved immediately, but after November 29 in order to vote on the budget. In first reading the budget bill was passed by the Portuguese Parliament on October 31st.
The budget envisages lower tax rates for the middle class, social benefits for the most vulnerable and a 24% increase in public investment.
Portuguese law stipulates that elections must be held within 60 days of the signing of the presidential decree dissolving parliament.
According to an Intercampus poll for the Jornal de Negocios and Correio da Manha newspapers, 67.8% of voters would prefer early elections, while 25.7% would prefer the PS to choose a new prime minister and form a government .
Antonio Costa resigned yesterday, Tuesday, after his chief of staff was arrested as part of a prosecutorial investigation into alleged irregularities in his government’s management of lucrative lithium and hydrogen mining projects.
Prosecutors said Costa is also the target of a related investigation. He has denied doing anything reprehensible.