Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa this Sunday ruled out the possibility of postponing the presidential elections, which are due to take place on January 24, due to the covid-19 pandemic. “Changing the date of the elections would imply a constitutional revision,” he said, thus fixing the problem.
The President of the Republic explained to journalists that the calendar of this suffrage is constitutionally conditioned by the date of the end of the presidential mandate, March 9, so the first round must take place in advance to allow a second round, if none of the candidates obtain an absolute majority of votes during the first appointment.
“The date of the elections must allow a second round and other procedural steps before March 9”, he stressed, specifying that he would call the elections at the scheduled time, that is to say at the end of January.
Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa was speaking at the end of the meeting “Building Portugal’s Future – A Social Commitment” – Regime Pact for Science and Innovation, which took place in Lisbon, the day Portugal passed the two thousand dead mark in 19 and where the number of new infected people is around 900 per day, which did not surprise him.
“About two weeks ago, I had already admitted that with the reopening of schools and the return to normal activity, we could reach a thousand new infections per day. We are already there, ”he said. But he was confident because “there is no stress in the national health service” and because “the health authorities have already said that they are prepared for the different scenarios”.
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He mentioned in particular the possibility of using “other elements of the national health system”, namely private health services, to deal with non-covid emergencies, as well as the possibility of giving “other hospitalization measures ”, therefore referring to the possibility of installing field hospitals.
But everything is in European normality, he said: “We are witnessing an increase in infections in many European countries, the evolution of the pandemic is still negative in the direction of its acceleration and Portugal is following this process. “.
Asked about the apparent impasse in the negotiations on the state budget, the President of the Republic repeated only what he said: “I still think that it is natural to have an agreement between the PS and the parties with whom the agreements were concluded in the last legislature. It is a political logic ”.