quinta-feira, 2 de junho de 2011

Election Law Victory

The New Democracy Party (PND, of which I am a member) has already secured a victory for democracy in these elections, causing President Jardim to tone down his speeches and to cease violating the election law.
The PND was present at several inaugurations, contesting the President’s use of official state ceremonies for electoral propaganda in violation of election laws.
On the 29th of May, the PND was held back by Police from accompanying the inauguration of the promenade between Praia Formosa and Câmara de Lobos. The committee included members of the municipal assemblies of Funchal and Câmara de Lobos. The PND was finally allowed to assist the ceremony, where once again Jardim victimized himself, complaining that Portugal’s fascist laws did not allow him to make electoral propaganda during state ceremonies. Watch, out, there are fascists out there, he warned. The PND subsequently raised a banner in protest.
Following the controversy, Police was informed by the local representative of the National Commission of Elections that they could not bar elected members form assisting state ceremonies. President Jardim made statement calling for the substitution of the judge representing the Commission in Madeira.
Days later, Securitas, a private security firm was hired to bar access to another inauguration ceremony, this time of the public electricity company. The National Commission of Election spokesman reacted, making a public statement to say that we could not be stopped from assisting these public ceremonies and that protest banners could also be shown on such occasions.
On the 30th of May, the PND was again present at the inauguration of two EU-funded agricultural roads in Canhas. Despite heavy police and undercover agent presence, no attempt was made to hinder our presence at the event. President Jardim made no derogatory speeches against the opposition and even thanked ‘all those present’.
Whether this is a temporary victory remains to be seen.

Public Prosecutor’s Office considers immunities unconstitutional

The Public Prosecutor’s Office considers that the parliamentary norms of the Regional Parliament of Madeira are against the Constitution. This does not stop them being applied until they are declared unconstitutional by the Constitutional Tribunal.
The norm, introduced in 1991, that concedes immunity to the President of the Regional Government means that Jardim cannot be constituted ‘arguido’ without Parliamentary approval, a motion the PSD majority has never approved.
According to the Public Prosecutor’s office the judicial authorities or the Criminal Police do not need the Parliament’s authorization to inquire an MP who is constituted ‘arguido’ when the case against him involves crimes liable to prison sentences of three or more years. Nevertheless, the PSD determined not to authorize Miguel Mendonça, chair of the Regional Parliament to be heard in a case in which he is accused by the PND of ‘coercion of an institution’, namely for having an MP physically barred by a hired security firm from entering Parliament and for trying to suspend him unconstitutionally.