Chega was going to force Costa and Galamba to go to Parliament, but the PS argued that it could stop… and it did

Chega thought it could, alone, force António Costa and João Galamba to go to Parliament and presented a potential request, seeking mandatory hearings for the two former rulers regarding the wiretaps related to the dismissal of the former president of TAP. The mandatory option was taken after a first parliamentary vote failed such a hearing, with the PSD and PS voting against.

This Wednesday, July 3rd, this request was going to be discussed in the Economy Committee (and not voted on, because it was not necessary), but the Socialist Party resorted to the Rules of the Assembly of the Republic, and claimed that it is not possible to make potestative (mandatory) requests for hearings to former rulers.

“There can only be powers for people who perform public functions,†defended socialist deputy Hugo Costa at the Economy, Public Works and Housing Committee in the session this Wednesday, 3 July. “In the history of the Assembly of the Republic there has never been a potential request to hear former members of the Government.†.

PSD President agrees with PS

Neither Costa nor Galamba are in public office. The president of the Commission, the social democrat, Miguel Santos, consulted the regulations and found that the potential request in permanent committees (parliamentary committees of inquiry have special powers) can only require the presence of members of Government (“this is not the case of Dr. António Costa and Dr. João Galamba), of directors and workers in public functions (“which is not the case of the two people in cause†), and members of administrative bodies (“which is also not the case of the two people in question†).

“The request does not meet the legal requirements,†believes Miguel Santos, the deputy president of the commission. The PSD, through Marco Claudino, also agreed with the PS and the president of the commission, also a social democrat.

Enough has a different understanding

Filipe Melo, from Chega, the party that proposed the request, said that he consulted jurists on the matter and reached a different conclusion. “Under the law, when a person exercises a public function he is responsible for that function not during the time of exercise, but for a period in the long run [longo prazo]†he argued.

When asked about the legislation, the Chega deputy was unable to answer (“I’m not a lawyer†). “We won’t give up on the matter, naturally,†he promised.

The IL deputy, Carlos Guimaṛes Pinto, was also involved in the discussion, but the left was absent, with no representation from BE, PCP, Livre and PAN. Neither does the CDS-PP Рthey are parties with fewer deputies and the parliamentary morning was rich in hearings.

There is already an opinion on the matter, another will come

However, the president of the Economy Committee said there is already an opinion from the Constitutional Affairs committee, dated the end of 2023, on the application of these potential requirements, which goes in the direction of the interpretation that of the PS and PSD: “Assumes that they are exercising their positions or functions†.

Filipe Melo even tried to say that Costa performs public functions (“he was appointed to the European Council†) but received no support, later accusing the PS of “great discomfort†in a hearing with Costa and Galamba .

Even so, and despite the opinion dated less than a year ago, the deputies decided that they can request a new opinion from the Constitutional Affairs Committee to find out whether permanent committees, such as the Economy Committee, can request the presence of personalities who are not in public functions.

Filipe Melo’s desire to listen to Costa e Galamba is due to the wiretaps that appeared in court proceedings and that were reported by CNN, regarding the political motivation to remove Christine Ourmières-Widener from the presidency of TAP, when there was a public body to write the technical arguments for his removal.

Chega’s deputy left a warning that, from September onwards, in another legislative session, he will have the right to hold a new Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry, which has special powers and which, in this case, can hold a hearing Powerful actions, without the possibility of opposition, to any citizen.


Francesco Giganti

Journalist, social media, blogger and pop culture obsessive in newshubpro

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