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Portuguese parliamentarians vote in favour of euthanasia despite president's veto

Portugal's president Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa who had vetoed the legislation.
Portugal's president Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa who had vetoed the legislation. Copyright JOSE COELHO/LUSA
By Euronews with AP, Eurovision, RTP
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Portugal's parliament has passed a bill legalising euthanasia after an intense debate including a veto by the country's president.


Portugal's parliament has confirmed its approval of a bill on medically assisted death that had been vetoed by the country's president.

The bill was passed on Friday with a total of 129 votes in favour, so requiring its promulgation by the head of state.

According to Portugal's Constitution, in the face of a veto, parliament can confirm the text by an absolute majority of the deputies in office, 116 out of 230, and in this case, the president will have to promulgate the bill within eight days from its receipt.

Portugal's parliament in session to debate euthanasia legislation on May 12, 2023RTP

The overwhelming majority of members from the governing Socialist Party (PS), Liberal Initiative (IL) and Left Bloc (BE) and the sole representatives of People-Animals-Nature (PAN) and Livre voted in favour.

Heated debate

In the debate, Isabel Moreira, Socialist Party(PS) said: "The time has come for the Assembly to respect itself and for us to respect those who look forward to this day so much."

Joao Cotrim Figueiredo, Liberal Initiative(IL), said: "It is not an affront to the president of the republic that we resubmit this bill without changing its content. Messages from the president of the republic, as well as the agreements of the Constitutional Court, were always taken into account."

The vast majority of PSD members voted against the legislation, as well the Chega and Communist Party (PCP) parliamentary groups and four PS deputies: João Azevedo, Cristina Sousa, Joaquim Barreto and Sobrinho Teixeira.

Alma Rivera, Communist Party(PCP), said: "We reaffirm that the PCP`s choice to vote against the legalisation of euthanasia was not taken lightly and is the result of a deep reflection."

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