By Chris King •
Updated: 09 Nov 2023 • 21:29
Image of Portugal's President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa.
Credit: European Parliament/Creative Commons Attribution 2.0
UPDATE: Wednesday, November 9 at 9:23 pm
AFTER meeting with the Council of State at the Palace of Belém, the President of Portugal announced the dissolution of parliament.
Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa will leave António Costa as the head of Government until the next elections, scheduled for March 10, 2024.
As reported by sicnoticias.pt this evening, prior to making his highly-anticipated announcement, Marcelo highlighted that: ‘For the first time in democracy, a prime minister learned that he was going to be the subject of an autonomous process under the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court’.
This dictated the dismissal of the head of state, for: ‘reasons of indispensable dignity to the continuity of the current mandate’, the President added.
UPDATE: Tuesday, November 7 at 7:49 pm
THE President of the Republic has accepted António Costa’s resignation as Prime Minister of Portugal this Tuesday, November 7.
According to cmjornal.pt, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa convened the parties with parliamentary seats for Wednesday 8, and the Council of State for Thursday 9, after which he will address the country.
Tuesday, November 7 at 4:26 pm
THE Portuguese Prime Minister, António Costa, submitted his resignation to Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, this Tuesday, November 7.
It came after the Public Ministry (MP) announced that Costa was the target of an autonomous investigation by the Supreme Court of Justice into projects involving lithium and hydrogen businesses.
According to SIC Notícias, the PM went to the Palácio de Belém to hand his resignation in person to the President of the Republic.
It was confirmed by the Attorney General’s Office (PGR) that the investigation arose after: ‘knowledge of the exploitation by suspects of the name and authority of the Prime Minister and his intervention to unblock procedures’.
At least five people are believed to have been arrested after around 20 searches were carried by the Public Ministry this morning in several ministry offices plus Costa’s official residence.
They included searches of the headquarters or spaces of other public entities and companies. A total of 17 searches were also conducted in homes, with another five at a lawyer’s office and their home.
Among the offices involved were those of the Ministry of Environment and Climate Action, the Ministry of Infrastructure, the State Secretariat of Energy and Climate, and Silves Council.
A statement released by the PGR clarified that searches in the spaces used by the Prime Minister’s chief of staff were monitored by a Criminal Investigation judge.
Those detained include Diogo Lacerda Machado, the businessman and close friend of the Prime Minister. António Costa’s chief of staff, Vítor Escária was also arrested.
João Galamba, the president of the Board of Directors of the Portuguese Environment Agency was accused as an ‘arguido’ or formal suspect, along with Duarto Cordeiro, the Minister of the Environment, plus João Pedro Matos Fernandes, the former Minister of the Environment. A warrant was also issued for the arrest of Nuno Mascarenhas, the mayor of Sines.
The Attorney General’s Office confirmed that 17 magistrates from the Public Ministry, three judicial magistrates, two representatives from the Bar Association and around 145 members of the PSP and nine from the Tax Authority participated in today’s searches.
At 2 pm Portuguese time, Costa addressed the nation, informing the public: ‘I dedicated myself with my soul and heart to serving the country and I was willing to fulfill the mandate that the Portuguese entrusted to me’.
‘I was surprised today by the information from the Attorney General’s Office that there has already been or will be a criminal case instituted against me’, he continued, guaranteeing that he was: ‘available to collaborate with the justice system to discover the whole truth’.
‘Addressing the Portuguese eye to eye, I can say that the practice of any illegal or censored act does not weigh on my conscience. As always, I have complete trust in justice and its functioning. The justice that I have served throughout my life and whose independence I have always defended’, Costa added.
He concluded: ‘I submitted my resignation to the President of the Republic’. This is a stage of life that is coming to an end and that I close with my head held high, a clear conscience, and with the same determination to serve Portugal and the Portuguese as on the first day I entered here as Prime Minister’.
Thank you for taking the time to read this article. Do remember to come back and check The Euro Weekly News website for all your up-to-date local and international news stories and remember, you can also follow us on Facebook and Instagram.
Share this story
Subscribe to our Euro Weekly News alerts to get the latest stories into your inbox!
By signing up, you will create a Euro Weekly News account if you don't already have one. Review our
Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at email@example.com
Download our media pack in either English or Spanish.