The President of the Republic, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, will address the nation today at 8 p.m. regarding the dissolution of Parliament and the date of early parliamentary elections, after hearing the parties and the Council of State.
Marcelo addresses the nation today at 8pm to announce the dissolution of Parliament
On Wednesday, the Council of State "gave a favorable opinion to the President of the Republic's proposal to dissolve the Assembly of the Republic, according to the press release issued at the end of the meeting.
Of the parties represented on the Council of State, only the PCP and BE had publicly expressed their disagreement with the option of dissolving the Assembly of the Republic and calling early elections following the presentation of the 2022 state budget in its entirety.
The meeting of the political advisory body to the President of the Republic, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, began at around 5.15pm and ended at 8.30pm, at the Palais de la Cidadela de Cascais, in the Lisbon district.
The President of the Republic said it was "fundamental to listen to the Council of State and to hear the reasons of the advisors" on dissolution, asserting that "this is not a simple 'pro forma'". The head of state said he would "speak to the country in the early evening" today on the issue of dissolution.
As for the date of the early elections, last week the President of the Republic estimated that they would take place in January 2022. Two days ago, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa declared that he would choose "the most reasonable date" that "corresponds to the best solution for the Portuguese people", regardless of the parties' electoral processes.
Article 133 of the Constitution stipulates that the President of the Republic is responsible for "dissolving the Assembly of the Republic, in compliance with the provisions of Article 172, after hearing the parties represented therein and the Council of State".
Article 172 stipulates that "the Assembly of the Republic may not be dissolved during the six months following its election, during the last six months of the term of office of the President of the Republic, or during a state of siege or state of emergency" - conditions which do not currently exist.
According to article 186 of the Constitution, governments are limited "to the practice of acts strictly necessary to ensure the management of public affairs" in two circumstances: "before the examination of their program by the Assembly of the Republic, or after their resignation". an option that Prime Minister António Costa has ruled out.
In a recent interview with the President of the Republic, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa said that it was a good idea "for the government to remain in office and not resign" until elections were held, as resigning would worsen the already critical situation.
As for the dates of the early parliamentary elections, the PSD and CDS-PP have indicated a preference for January 09 or 16, the PS, PCP, PEV and Chega for January 16, BE has advocated elections from this date, PAN between the second half of January and February 1 and Liberal Initiative not before January 30.
State budget for 2022 was rejected in its entirety last Wednesday, with votes against from the PSD, BE, PCP, CDS-PP, PEV, Chega and Iniciativa Liberal. The PS minority government's proposal received votes in favor only from the Socialist benches, with abstentions from the PAN and non-attached members Joacine Katar Moreira and Cristina Rodrigues.