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Azores Constitution sparks Portuguese President's speech

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Azores Constitution sparks Portuguese President's speech


The President of Portugal has interrupted his holidays to make a televised address to the nation, in which he criticized a law reforming the Constitution of the autonomous region of the Azores.

The legislation was approved by a socialist majority in the Portuguese parliament in June.

But President Anibal Cavaco Silva called for a review by the Constitutional Court, which in turn ruled that certain elements of it were illegal.

“I’m talking about the provisions relating to the dissolution of the Legislative Assembly of the Azores,” he said. “When one considers the national Constitution and the Constitution of the other autonomous region of Madeira, the provisions restrict the sovereignty of the President of the Republic. They also call into question the balance and configuration of the powers of our political system.”

The reform makes it more difficult to dissolve the Legislative Assembly of the Azores.

The text of the legislation must be modified before Parliament can consider it again.

The conservative opposition has promised to take into account the President’s concerns, but analysts say it will most probably be passed by a majority in Parliament.

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