Secretary of State for Agriculture resigns 24 hours after taking office

There is another victim in the government of António Costa. About 24 hours after taking office, Agriculture Secretary Carla Alves resigned. This after it was reported that she has several bank accounts seized, as part of a legal investigation involving her husband, Américo Pereira, former mayor of Vinhais.

“The Secretary of State for Agriculture presented her resignation this afternoon, because she understands that she does not have the political and personal conditions to take office. The resignation was quickly accepted, ”informed the Ministry of Agriculture, in a note shared after the end of the debate on the motion of censure in the government presented by the Liberal Initiative and shortly after the President of the Republic, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, pointed out that this has a "political limitation", since he has a "close family connection with someone who is accused in a trial".

Carla Alves was sworn in on Wednesday by the Head of State, but this Thursday morning, the Correio da Manhã reports that the now resigning minister has several bank accounts arrested, as part of a judicial investigation involving her husband. Américo Pereira is accused of prevarication, economic participation in business and active corruption.

In the afternoon, several members of the government nevertheless came to the defense of Carla Alves. The Ministry of Agriculture, for example, said it understood that there was "no question" which would call into question the appointment", since the Secretary of State "is not subject to any criminal prosecution" and “no legal proceedings regarding her husband suggest any type of involvement” on your part.

And in the debate that took place all afternoon in the Assembly of the Republic, the Prime Minister, António Costa, came out in favor of the appointment, assuring the deputies that he would not fail to revoke her if she had actually received undeclared money. in a personal account. "If the Republican ethics is harmed, the Secretary of State is dismissed," assured the Chief Executive.

The President of the Republic considered Carla Alves "as a negative political weight". “It would already be a political burden for the exercise of any political body of a representative nature and it is naturally for a function like this,” said Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa. And shortly after these statements, the note from the Ministry of Agriculture reached the editorial staff reporting the resignation.

It is one of the many victims that the government of António Costa has suffered in these first months of the legislature. A week ago, Pedro Nuno Santos left his post as Minister of Infrastructure and Housing, given the "collective feeling" generated around the TAP affair and the compensation of half a million euros paid to Alexandra Reis by the carrier.

Updated at 20h50

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