Former PSD prime minister Pedro Passos Coelho has announced today that he will be leaving parliament and renouncing his mandate as an MP at the end of February.
It is news that pundits have long been expecting, bearing in mind that Passos Coelho has already renounced the leadership of his party and Saturday will see the election of his replacement.
But what has come as a bit of an eye-opener is the admission by his teflon friend and former minister Miguel Relvas that he could return to public service.
“We have seen Christ come down to earth”, he told journalists for Rádio Renascença and Público, who reported that he “refused to rule out a return to political life”.
“One should never say no”, he added.
The stumbling block, however, would appear to be money.
Relvas explained that politicians these days are simply not paid enough, and thus political life is “not very attractive”.
Suggesting Portugal would be better served by “better politicians”, he seems to have worked out how such a nirvana could be accomplished.
Incoming MPs should be offered the average monthly salary of their last five year wage packet.
Bearing in mind these ‘better politicians’ would most probably be coming from the top echelons of business life, the incentive would (presumably) encourage them to engage their skills night and day for the good of the country.
“We shouldn’t have to rely on minimum services in political life. We should be able to go after the best”, Relvas explained.
Whether the best would have the country’s best interests at heart, well that part perhaps was not so well thought through.
Relvas resigned from Passos Coelho’s government in 2013 after a series of inconvenient sound bites.
In the words of Wikipedia, he “has been involved in some controversies although he was never formally charged.
“Known instances include: supposed pocketing and abusing of official allowances…supposed cronyism… supposed influence peddling… supposed inflation of his academic credentials… possible association to Portugal’s secret services scandal… alleged intimidation of the press and denial of responsibility”.