The draft resolution presented by the President of the Assembly of the Republic was approved with votes in favour of the PS, PSD and PCP benches, abstention by Chega and votes against by IL, BE, PAN and Livre.

Intervening after the vote, the parliamentary leader of the PS, Eurico Brilhante Dias, justified the favourable vote of his bench stating that “the parliament is not constituted to guarantee the political options of travel and international relations of the President of the Republic”.

“The way in which the Assembly of the Republic, since 1976, has interpreted (…) this consent, this assent, is that the President of the Republic’s departure from the national territory of his Excellency does not jeopardize the normal functioning of the institutions and, therefore, more than reasons of foreign policy or international reasons, they are questions of the functioning of the institutions”, he underlined.

For the Liberal Initiative, parliamentary leader Rodrigo Saraiva said that his party considers that Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa “should not travel to Qatar because this World Cup is being used by the Qatari regime as a geopolitical tool to have validation at an international level of credibility which it does not have”.

Left Bloc deputy José Soeiro defended that “no authority and no sovereign body should make the trip to Qatar, being represented in this world cup” and legitimizing a regime that commits “repeated and shocking violations of human rights”.

The President of the Republic cannot leave the national territory without the consent of the Assembly of the Republic, in accordance with the Constitution.

In the travel request, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa requests authorization from the parliament to leave the country between Wednesday and Friday to watch the team's first game in Qatar, and admits the possibility of travelling via Cairo to participate in a conference on the “Future of Quality Education”, together with other heads of state.

Last Thursday, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa said that “Qatar does not respect human rights”, but asked that the focus be instead on the national team, statements that generated criticism from several parties.

“Qatar does not respect human rights. All the construction of the stadiums and such... but, anyway, let's forget about that. It's objectionable, but let's focus on the team. We started very well and finished very well”, said Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, at the end of the preparation game between Portugal and Nigeria, in Lisbon.

A day later, in Fátima, the head of state noted that he would attend the first game if the parliament allowed it and assured that he intended to speak about human rights.


Author
TPN/Lusa