Miguel Albuquerque
Miguel Albuquerque has been a fierce defender of the right of his region to maintain golden visas for the purchases of high-end property, and to allow short term rentals to run without extra taxation. Image: Lusa

Madeira’s PSD leader “must resign; no other option”, says national party

“It’s already late”

Miguel Albuquerque, regional president of Madeira and cited in corruption investigations that blasted onto the scene two days ago, “must resign. There is no other option”.

This latest development, now widely reported, comes after Albuquerque’s PSD party nationally began by supporting his insistence to remain in office. But the weight of allegations, and the ‘cold feet’ of coalition partner PAN on the island has meant that unless Albuquerque goes, his minority PSD/CDS will fall. And that coming just five weeks before the mainland has legislative elections – in which PSD not only hopes to win, but on a ticket of ‘zero tolerance for corruption’ – makes continuing to support Miguel Albuquerque tantamount to political suicide.

“There is no alternative”, a national PSD source has told SIC Notícias – adding that Albuquerque’s resignation is expected this later afternoon.

Meantime, PSD Madeira is meeting at 5pm, almost certainly to decide who will take  Albuquerque’s place – in the hope that this ‘saves’ the coalition, and restores some semblance of ‘tranquility’ to the archipelago’s political landscape.

According to Expresso, president Marcelo is heavily involved in this process, and has insisted that whichever name is chosen, it must be someone who has NOT held any executive functions in recent years (in other words, it must be someone who cannot be linked, in any way, with any of the allegations of corruption and cronyism that are swirling).

As for these allegations, they have enormous implications for Madeira, and its future (see text to come).

[email protected]