The New Democracy Party has quit the Coalition for Change in the City of Funchal.
The newly elected Mayor, Paulo Cafofo, took a unilateral decision to remove the responsibilities of members of his executive, without consulting, never mind obtaining the consent of the coalition parties.
Three out of the five members of the executive resigned: Filipa Jardim Fernandes, vice deputy Mayor responsible for finances; Gil Canha, responsible for urban planning and markets; and Edgar Silva responsible for social services.
The decision to strip Canha of the responsibilities of markets and inspections was never justified, apart from a wet statement that the Mayor wanted a city that 'facilitated'.
Cafofo's gamble is seen on the one hand to have been an 'offering' to the Sousa group and to vested interests of groups linked to Jardim's party, on the hand a move to consolidate the power of the Socialist Party in the City Hall.
The Chair of the City Assembly, Luisa Clode, also resigned her post at the same time. The Coalition's position in the Assembly is now even more precarious, with the loss of the three members elected by the New Democracy Party, but curiously the PSD did not present an alternative list for the electing the new chair.
The new chair, Rodrigo Trancoso of the Left Block, was duly elected without difficulty