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Favouritism Enquiry Continues

Ricardo Lume (Portuguese Communist Party – PCP) will use the potestative right to call a person to the Committee of Enquiry on favouritism to business groups by the Regional Government.

After the requirements to hear Sérgio Marques, Ricardo Lume asked for 72 hours to debate on who he intends to call.

He did not reveal to journalists whether it will be Sérgio Marques, or one of two others, namely Santos Costa, or Eduardo Jesus, the former Regional Secretary for Tourism, Economy, and Culture who was dismissed last October in a Regional Government reshuffle, alongside the Regional Secretary of Parliamentary and European Affairs, Sérgio Marques, and Finance and Public Administrator, Rui Gonçalves.

During today’s enquiry Jacinto Serrão challenged the Regional Government, asking them why the PSD had spoken out against hearing former Deputy Sérgio Marques four times, given his serious allegations against the ruling party.

Sérgio Marques served as Regional Director under the President of the Regional Government, Alberto João Jardim (PSD) between 1988 and 1989,  In a statement, he claimed that the former President was ‘fantastic’ until 2000 when he became embroiled with numerous economic groups who began to dominate the scene under the Presidents ‘protection.’ From then on things began to go downhill as the Regional Government began to ‘invent works. They wanted to continue with the same scheme of government, the same ways, investing in useless works, buying into the crazy logic of the development companies and their investment schemes/ideas!”

On Sunday, Sérgio Marques wrote on his Facebook page saying that he had been involved with the party for 47 years and that he was known for his opinions, which he said, refer to moments of the past, and which are far from the current regional policy.

The social democrat, who was also part of the government under Miguel Albuquerque as Regional Secretary for European and Parliamentary Affairs, between 2015 and 2017 was removed due to the influence of large economic groups operating within the region.

When asked by journalists about this situation and whether Sérgio Marques should leave the party on his own initiative, the leader of the PSD/Madeira and President of the Regional Government, Miguel Albuquerque, declared: “The PSD is a free party and only those who want to be in the PSD will remain.”

Following the statements of Sérgio Marques, the PS deputies in the Legislative Assembly of Madeira announced last Sunday that they would request a commission of enquiry to investigate the alleged favours of the Madeiran executive to economic groups.

So far businessmen Luís Miguel de Sousa (Sousa Group) and Avelino Farinha (AFA Group) have been called to the Madeiran Parliament to clarify Sérgio’s statements. He as well as the former Sovereign Regional President, Miguel de Sousa, believe that both the Sousa and AFA Group are heavily favoured by the Regional Government.

Samantha Gannon

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