The leadership of the PSD was taken by surprise by the request of the Social Democrat deputy Pinto Moreira to resume the mandate that he suspended after being constituted as an arguido in the scope of Operation Vortex.
“There was no prior articulation with the party’s leadership”, said a source close to the PSD president to the Lusa agency, noting that it was a personal decision by Pinto Moreira and that it caught the members of that body by surprise.
The same source said that the leadership and the party president himself, Luís Montenegro, were taken by surprise by the decision, which will be taken to the party’s Permanent Commission meeting next Monday.
“The Permanent Commission of the PSD meets on Monday and at that meeting the political analysis of this case will also be made”, the source close to Luís Montenegro told Lusa.
Joaquim Pinto Moreira informed parliament that he intends to resume his mandate as a deputy, suspended since March 29 at his request after being constituted as an arguido within the scope of Operation Vortex.
The information was provided by CNN Portugal and confirmed to Lusa by the chairman of the Transparency Commission, PS deputy Alexandra Leitão.
The request has already been received by the Commission and will be transmitted at the next meeting to the deputies that integrate it, on Tuesday, not requiring any opinion or vote for this resumption of mandate.
The Assembly of the Republic had approved on March 29 the suspension of the mandate of PSD deputy Joaquim Pinto Moreira.
The deputy, elected by the Porto constituency, asked for the suspension of his mandate “for a period of no less than 30 days and up to a maximum of six months” (the maximum allowed by the legislature), invoking “weighty reasons of a personal nature”.
Lusa tried to contact Pinto Moreira, so far without success, and the social-democratic parliamentary group also does not, for the time being, make any comments on this deputy’s decision.
The Vortex Operation process is related to “real estate projects and respective licensing [na Câmara de Espinho]concerning multifamily buildings and hotel units, involving urban interests of tens of millions of euros, processed for the benefit of certain economic operators”, according to the Judiciary Police.
At issue is the “alleged practice” of crimes of passive corruption of political office holders – “eventually aggravated” if the advantage “is of high value” or “considerably high” -, prevarication, influence peddling and abuse of powers, according to the opinion of the Committee on Transparency and the Statute of Deputies.