– The Head of State accepts the resignation of the Portuguese Prime Minister
After being shattered by a corruption case linked to the awarding of energy contracts, Antonio Costa resigned from his position on Tuesday.
Conservative Portuguese Head of State Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa announced on Tuesday that he had accepted the resignation of Socialist Prime Minister António Costa, who is implicated in a corruption scandal.
A press statement issued by the Portuguese presidency said: “Following the resignation of the Prime Minister, which he accepted, the President of the Republic decided to invite the political parties represented in the Assembly” on Wednesday and the “Council of State” on Thursday to meet. .
Before he can dissolve Parliament and call early elections, a decision that falls to him, the Portuguese Head of State must, in accordance with the Constitution, first hear the representatives of the parties elected in Parliament and then convene the Council of State, where the highest ranking politicians, former presidents and other prominent figures Which he appointed himself.
The press release issued by the Portuguese Presidency adds that “the President of the Republic will address the nation immediately after the meeting of the Council of State.”
He was torn apart by a corruption case that led on Tuesday to the search of his official residence and the indictment of one of his ministers, and his chief of staff, Antonio Costa, who has been in power since 2015, announced that he had submitted his resignation.
Suspicions of “positive and negative embezzlement and corruption”
“The duties of prime minister are not compatible with any doubt about my integrity,” he told the press.
The case that concerns him relates to suspicions of “embezzlement, active and passive corruption of political office holders and influence peddling” in the granting of concessions for lithium exploration and hydrogen production in particular.
The prosecutor said in a statement on Tuesday that during the investigation “the suspects also mentioned the name and authority of the prime minister.” He is suspected of intervening himself to “open the proceedings” in the context of this case, and Antonio Costa will once again be “the subject of an independent investigation,” according to the prosecution.
“We confirm the searches”
Inspections were conducted in Portugal in several ministries and in the official residence of the Prime Minister as part of the corruption investigation, according to Portuguese media.
The press office of the President of the Socialist Government indicated to the Lusa Agency: “We confirm the inspections in the office of the Chief of Staff” of Prime Minister Antonio Costa, “but we do not comment on the judicial procedure.”
The head of state, Governor Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, spoke briefly with Mr Costa, a spokesman for the president said.
Green hydrogen contracts
According to national media, these operations are part of an investigation related in particular to suspicions of influence peddling and corruption in contracts linked to the mining of green hydrogen and lithium, a metal used in the manufacture of batteries and essential for the energy transition.