PAN to abstain in State Budget vote; Joacine Katar Moreira follows same path

  • Lusa
  • 25 October 2021

The People-Animals-Nature (PAN) party will abstain in Wednesday's vote in the first reading of the draft State Budget for 2022. Deputy Joacine Katar Moreira makes the same decision.

The People-Animals-Nature (PAN) party, which has three seats in Portugal’s parliament, will abstain in Wednesday’s vote in the first reading of the draft State Budget for 2022 (OE2022), its parliamentary leader announced on Monday, while warning that “everything remains open” regarding its position in the final reading next month. On the same day, deputy Joacine Katar Moreira also announced that will abstain.

“The PAN, from a responsible position and dialogue, will abstain in the first reading,” said Inês Sousa Real at a news conference at the party’s Lisbon headquarters.

According to Sousa Real, “everything remains open in the final reading vote.”

The party’s announcement comes as the Socialist Party (PS) continues to talk with others to secure enough votes – or abstentions – to ensure the approval of the Budget bill in Wednesday’s vote in parliament, since the government lacks a majority in the assembly.

The debate on the Budget bill is scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday, with its approval at this stage still uncertain. Portugal’s president has warned that if it fails to get through, he may need to dissolve parliament and call a snap election.

The Communist Party, whose votes helped the government get its last two annual Budgets through, has not offered its support this time, while the larger Left Bloc has said that at this stage it is also not willing even to abstain.

Deputy Joacine Katar Moreira follows PAN’s path

Joacine Katar Moreira, a member of Portugal’s parliament not attached to any political party, said on Monday that she would also abstain in the vote on this week’s first reading of the Socialist government’s draft state budget for 2022, “in the hope” that the document will take “a greater turn to the left” during the committee stage of the bill.

“The PS state budgets usually have some room for improvement, so I’m abstaining, precisely in the hope that this budget takes a greater turn to the left,” Katar Moreira told Lusa, confirming a report by TSF radio that she planned to abstention on the bill’s first reading.