Prime Minister refuses to participate in TV show

Portuguese Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho refused to participate in RTP’s new TV show O País Pergunta due to “the current circumstances which are out of his control”, said a representative of his office. The show was supposed to air on the state-owned television channel on September 10.

The decision was made public after the political opposition parties PS and PCP complained to the National Elections Commission (CNE) that RTP was not treating the leaders of other political parties equally by broadcasting an interview with the head of PSD only a couple of weeks before the September 29 local elections.

The CNE agreed with the opposition’s complaints and said that “an interview-based programme with political leaders, like the one announced by RTP, can only take place outside of pre-election periods”.

Twenty people were going to have the opportunity to ask questions to the Prime Minister on the programme’s national debut. The gist of the show revolves around anonymous citizens interviewing famous politicians on national TV.