Sacking of regional development bosses “a total scandal”, says former PM

Following on from the political sackings of CCDR bosses in the Algarve and the North, former prime minister Pedro Passos Coelho has denounced the situation as “a total scandal”.

In a situation that will be seen by almost everyone as the pot calling the kettle black, Passos Coelho has accused PS Socialists of trying to “instrumentalise public administration”.

But the conflict of interest in the Algarve has been an issue for months.

In February, the Algarve branch of the PS claimed David Santos’ position as both head of CCDR and president of the regional PSD was “mutually exclusive” (see story).

Santos refused to budge at the time, but he has now been forced out in no uncertain terms – as has another chief of the CCDR in the North, Emídio Gomes.

Reasons given for the decision were Santos’ lack of “the necessary conditions to observe orders emanating from above”, and Gomes’ “reiterated refusal to implement matters inherent to the exercise of his functions”.

Controversy followed almost immediately, with a number of council officials, particularly in the North, talking of “political sanitisation” and even “political lynching”.

The PSD has demanded explanations in parliament, while Passos Coelho has come out in print with his clear distaste for it all.

According to a report in Lusa, the former prime minister saw the dismissals as “the appetite of instrumentalism” within public administration powermakers, “which cannot be accepted in a democratic state, that has been following its Constitution for 40 years”.

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