Parliament protests get creative

The PSD political party is proposing that citizens are temporarily barred from attending parliamentary debates in order to avoid disruption, particularly when the Prime Minister addresses Parliament.

Several members of the public have in recent times interrupted parliament debates by shouting at the Prime Minister in protestation against his government’s measures.

Just last week during the quarterly debate on June 26, a group of retirees showed their discontent by turning their backs on members of parliament and were thus invited to leave the room by the President of Parliament, Assunção Esteves. They left but not before singing the protest song ‘Grândola Vila Morena’ by the late Revolution singer Zeca Afonso.

Soon after this incident, Pedro Passos Coelho’s speech prompted an angry reaction from a man who stood up and fired questions at the Prime Minister.

In May, Assunção Esteves had warned a group of noisy citizens contesting the closure of hundreds of parish councils in Portugal. She said: “Citizens should not protest here because instead of being in a democratic regime, we are in a revolution.”

While the CDS coalition party is in agreement that citizens should not be allowed to attend parliamentary debates if they cannot behave, the left-wing party Bloco de Esquerda, through its MP Pedro Filipe Soares, said there is no legal framework applicable to these events.