Portugal president calls for election after PM resigns over corruption probe

Portugal president calls for election after PM resigns over corruption probe
Portugal president calls for election after PM resigns over corruption probe

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Nevin Al Sukari - Sana'a - Portugal’s President yesterday dissolved parliament and called an election for March 10, after Prime Minister Antonio Costa resigned over a corruption investigation. — AFP pic

LISBON, Nov 10 — Portugal’s President yesterday dissolved parliament and called an election for March 10, after Prime Minister Antonio Costa resigned over a corruption investigation.

Costa, Portugal’s Socialist premier since 2015, quit on Tuesday after being embroiled in a corruption probe into energy-related contracts, sparking a political crisis.

“I have chosen to dissolve the Assembly of the Republic and hold elections on March 10,” the conservative head of state, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, said in a televised address.

De Sousa spoke with members of the Council of State, a consultative body, before his broadcast.

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He met the heads of the main political parties on Wednesday as he decided whether to ask a party leader to try to form a new government or to dissolve parliament.

The main opposition parties on the left and right had urged early elections.

The Socialist Party wanted the appointment of a new prime minister who would govern with its comfortable parliamentary majority.

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De Sousa said this solution was not preferable because the prime minister “would not be made legitimate by popular vote”.

Holding the election in March will give the Socialists time to find a successor to Costa, one of the few left-wing heads of government in Europe.

The corruption probe involves the award of contracts for lithium mining and the production of green hydrogen.

Costa insists he has done nothing illegal. — AFP

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