PM doesn’t blame president, understands his call for early elections

  • Lusa
  • 9 November 2021

The prime minister admitted on Monday that he understood the head of state's decision to dissolve parliament and call early elections following the rejection of the government's budget proposal.

The prime minister has said he understands the decision of the president of Portugal to call early parliamentary elections, considering that you cannot point the finger after a crisis generated by a rejected Budget.

This position was defended by António Costa in an interview with RTP on Monday night, during which he stressed that the decision of the PCP, PEV and Left Bloc to vote against the Budget in general terms meant “an outright rejection of the general guidelines of the government”.

“There being a fundamental rejection – indeed, on other matters that had nothing to do with the Budget – the president, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, understood that this meant that the political base on which this government was based had disappeared and, therefore, it made sense to go to elections”.

António Costa then said he understood the head of state’s decision to dissolve parliament and call early elections following the rejection of the government’s budget proposal.

“I don’t think it’s possible to point the finger at the president”.

According to the Prime Minister, “the best solution would have been to have a viable Budget, without jeopardising the future of the country”.

Earlier in this interview, António Costa had already argued that, during the negotiations, the government “went to the limits of the limits”, but could not accept demands from the PCP on the increase of the minimum wage to €800 per month and from the Left Bloc on the end of the application of the sustainability factor of the Social Security system for citizens with 60 years of age and 40 years of contributions.

“A good Budget for the country is not a Budget that would put into question the future of Social Security, or a Budget that threatens employment and the economic viability of companies,” he criticised.

When asked about the president of the Republic’s choice to call elections for January 30 next, when the PS had proposed the 16th of that month, the Socialist leader downplayed this issue.

“The sooner the better, but what is needed is for everyone to feel good and comfortable. The date is not the fundamental issue. The fundamental question facing the Portuguese is to know what Government they want and under what conditions they want it to govern,” he added.