Portuguese president to hear advisors before decision to dissolve parliament

It will be essential to hear the opinions of state advisers on dissolving parliament, President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa said on Tuesday. [EPA-EFE / MARIO CRUZ]

It will be essential to hear the opinions of state advisers on dissolving parliament, President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa said on Tuesday, stressing that the date for the elections would be announced later.

Speaking to journalists, Rebelo de Sousa distinguished between the question of dissolution, which “is closed” on Wednesday with the hearing of the Council of State, and the date of early parliamentary elections, which he will consider “the day after”.

“We are still at the stage of the first choice, the first decision. Then there will be 24 hours until I speak to the country early Thursday evening, and then I will put the two questions together: the dissolution question yes or no; if yes, what is the date of the elections,” he declared.

Asked if there is still the possibility of not dissolving parliament, he replied: “I will hear the opinion of the Council of State and only after that will I take the formal decision on that matter. And if it is a case of dissolution, I will choose a date for elections.”

On the topic of whether the political organ of presidential consultation would be decisive, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa said that “it is fundamental to listen to the Council of State and hear the councillors’ reasons is not a mere ‘pro forma'”.

“I want to hear the opinions of the various councillors, which are many, and cover a huge spectrum of Portuguese life. Then I take that decision. And then, if necessary, I will decide on the date of the elections,” he reiterated.

(Inês Escobar Lima |  Lusa.pt)

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