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Portugal. The government is introducing a questionnaire for officials to eliminate conflicts of interest

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The Portuguese authorities have decided that future officials will have to answer a questionnaire before being appointed to their functions. This test, introduced after a series of scandals, is to prove that they are fit for office.

The new verification system, consisting of 34 questions, is intended to allow the Portuguese government to check for conflicts of interest before being appointed to office, informed the presidential minister Mariana Vieira da Silva, who admitted that she also filled out the declaration.

“This mechanism precedes the nomination and is designed to anticipate the problem,” she said. “This is not an investigation, but a set of questions that allows the person who answers it to assume responsibility,” she added.

Parliament of PortugalReuters Archive

The Socialists, led by Prime Minister Antonio Costa, won a parliamentary majority in the elections last year. Since then, the government has been on a rocky path with 11 ministers and the Secretary of State leaving their posts, some over allegations of past misconduct or dubious practices.

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In early January, it was reported that Carla Pereira, Secretary of State for Agriculture, who resigned about 26 hours after taking office, allegedly had her bank accounts seized in connection with a corruption investigation into her husband, the former mayor.

At the end of December, Infrastructure Minister Pedro Nuno Santos resigned after public reaction to the heavy severance pay paid to the new secretary.

The opposition criticizes the questionnaire

In November, Costa’s right-hand man Miguel Alves stepped down after being formally charged by prosecutors with malpractice while serving as mayor in 2015-2016.

The new questionnaire has already been criticized by the opposition parties. Left Bloc MP Pedro Filipe Soares described the test as “ridiculous”. – The prime minister tells us that he will ask questions of people he invites to the government. Hasn’t he done this before? – added.

Main photo source: Reuters Archive



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