A truly hideous week for Miguel Albuquerque. Image: Homen de Gouveia/ Lusa
A truly hideous week for Miguel Albuquerque. Image: Homen de Gouveia/ Lusa

Madeira to have new-look government, with no budget approved

Albuquerque’s slow exit from power rejected by CDS

Madeira digested lunch today to the news today that it is poised to have a completely new government, working without a budget – for the time being at least.

The plan (yesterday) that involved retaining the now resigned governor Miguel Albuquerque – cited for corruption in investigations assailing the archipelago – for as long as it took to approve a budget has been resoundingly rejected by the CDS, one of the minority government’s coalition partners.

Explain reports, “this means Madeira will have to work on 12ths (meaning every month it will have a fixed budget to work with) and the PSD will have to present a new executive”: new ministers all round.

“The regional government will fall immediately”, writes SIC – with the new executive expected to be formed by the end of the week, beginning of next. It will then have to be ‘approved’ by President Marcelo’s representative in Madeira.

This new scenario also means that the budget that was going to be discussed next week is now effective toast: the new executive will have to come up with a completely new budget, if it stays in office long enough.

Meantime, director of the PJ Luís Neves has given a press conference to dispel some of the misreporting of the last few days.

He stressed that the Air Force planes brought to Madeira 140 PJ inspectors and 10 police forensic experts – not 300 as “incorrectly reported in different organs of the press”.

He also said the choice of an Air Force plane for transport was necessary because of the computers and other equipment that had to travel with the police – and roundly discounted suggestions that the whole operation had been timed to coincide with legislative elections on the mainland (and so cause maximum political discomfort).

“Any investigation has formalities and established rules that cannot be reconciled with media speculation”, said Neves. “In fact, an operation of this scale requires a lot of preparation time, because one needs to collect information from dozens or hundreds of addresses, with meticulous and surgical work.” 

In other words, the timing was just a coincidence.

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