In less troubled days, when the prime minister was the prime minister, and João Galamba was a government minister
In less troubled days, when the prime minister was the prime minister, and João Galamba was a government minister

Infrastructure minister resigns to protect family

João Galamba is an official suspect in Operation Influencer

João Galamba, the only government minister cited so far in the probe that has brought down the government, has tendered his resignation.

On Friday he said he had “no intention of resigning” – although his resignation has long been sought.

Today, this all changed for the protection of his family.

Mr Galamba is understood to have tendered his resignation after bail terms of the five suspects held since last Tuesday were announced.

He wrote that it has been a decision of “deep personal and family reflection”. He considers “as a father and husband this decision is the only one possible to ensure my family the tranquility and discretion to which they are unequivocally entitled”.

He went on to say “(…) this resignation does not constitute an assumption of responsibility for what belongs to the sphere of justice and is not to be confused with it. In this context, I can only say that I am, of course, fully available to clarify any doubts that may exist regarding the performance of my governmental functions, having already expressed my full availability to collaborate in everything that may be deemed necessary, namely through my statements in the process, in the context of the ongoing legal proceedings.

“The action of a member of the government imposes the weighing up of all the public interests present and the obligation to make every effort to make them compatible and maximise their realisation when it is not possible to achieve the full realisation of all of them, and always with total obedience to the law,” he added, in many ways mirroring the remarks of Lacerda Machado’s lawyer, and of António Costa in his speech on Saturday.

This is just the latest controversy to sweep up and around João Galamba. In May he was ‘involved’ (albeit in his absence) in a bizarre ‘punch-up’ at his ministry. This led him to be accused of wanting staff members to lie to the TAP commission of inquiry. He eventually tendered his resignation then – only to see the prime minister refuse it.

That decision marked the start of what has been a difficult few months vis-a-vis the Socialist Party’s perceived relationship with President Marcelo, who showed enthusiasm in May for Mr Galamba’s resignation to be accepted. ND