The prime minister, António Costa, returns to parliament on October 7th for the first debate on general policy of the third legislative session, the leaders’ conference decided today.
The data was confirmed to Lusa by the socialist Maria da Luz Rosinha, spokesperson for the leaders’ conference, which met this Wednesday, and is included in the summary sent to the press.
Scheduled for 3 pm, this will be the first general policy debate with the prime minister of the third legislative session that kicks off this week – a new model that emerged in the previous legislative session following a PS/PSD agreement and that replaced the biweekly debates of about an hour and a half that have been held since 2008.
The last debate on general policy held in the Assembly of the Republic with the presence of António Costa – which is held bimonthly – was held on May 12, 2021.
In the previous legislative session, which began on 15 September 2020, four debates were held on general policy with António Costa in parliament, to which were added four sectorial debates with ministers, against the ten biweekly debates with the prime minister held in the first session of the legislature, started in 2019.
According to the accounting made by Lusa at the end of the last legislative session, the prime minister answered the deputies’ questions in the new debate model – with two rounds instead of just one and with twice the time, almost three hours – in October 7, 2020, January 19, March 17, and May 12, 2021.
In the last legislative session, according to data provided to Lusa by the Secretary of State for Parliamentary Affairs at the time, the prime minister responded to the deputies, in addition to four debates on general policy, in four debates on European matters (the same number as in the previous session) and in a thematic debate at the beginning of the session at the request of the Government on the Recovery and Resilience Plan.
António Costa was also present, but without taking the floor, in three other debates in the Assembly of the Republic on the renewal of the state of emergency, in addition to the plenary sessions dedicated to voting in general (in which he opened the discussion) and the overall final of the Budget the State for 2021 and also in the debate on the State of the Nation.
On July 23, 2020, PS and PSD alone approved the new Regiment of the Assembly of the Republic which, among many changes, ended with the model of fortnightly debates with the prime minister in force since 2008, replacing it with monthly debates with the Government.
The current model foresees that the debate with the Government takes place in two alternating formats: in one month, with the prime minister on general policy and, in the next, on sectorial policy with the minister of ministry, whether the head of Government may be or not gift.