Revealed text message causes crisis for Portuguese coalition

Coalition parties question alliance in general election after revelation Junior Party leader planned to quit

Photo by: Wikipedia
Photo by: Wikipedia

Updated Jul 28, 2015

A revealed text message has caused controversy between coalition parties in the Portuguese government over their decision to stand together in this year’s general elections.

It was revealed in Portugal’s Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho’s new biography that he received a text message in 2013 from the head of the Junior Coalition Party, Foreign Minister Paulo Portas, offering his resignation.

Portas’ Popular Party, however, denied Prime Minister Coelho’s claims. It said Portas sent his resignation to the parliament with an official letter, and did not use a text message to inform political authorities.

The party criticised the author of the book saying the author did not consult Portas himself for the accuracy of the information, which was said to be found in Prime Minister Coelho’s memoirs.

Prime Minister Coelho, who is the head of the Social Democratic Party, did not comment about the events on Wednesday.

Neither of the coalition parties approved what was written in the biography, especially when it was published, which came just ten days after the two parties decided to enter the upcoming elections on the same side.

In 2013, Portas resigned from the government before retracting his decision when he was promoted to Deputy Prime Minister after then-Prime Minister Cavaco Silva rejected his resignation.

At the time, it was speculated that Portas was protesting against the promotion of Maria Luis Albuquerque as Finance Minister and trying to avoid the consequences of being part of the government in a time of crisis.

The crisis started when Finance Minister Vitor Gaspar resigned in July 2013 following mass civil unrest against his rescue plan for the Portuguese economy, which involved a tax increase and reduction of civil servants.

The government proposed an agreement between all three parties to solve the crisis but the main opposition Socialists rejected the proposal and called for early elections.

TRTWorld and agencies