The President of the Republic, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, enacted this Thursday a diploma that marks the first indirect elections for the Regional Coordination and Development Commissions (CCDR) for October. The change to the date of the elections for the presidents of the CCDR, initially scheduled for September, was approved by the Head of State, maintaining the alert that this process is not regionalization.
“Given that the present diploma changes only procedural provisions, marking the first elections for the next month of October, without questioning the considerations and reservations raised when promulgating the diploma that comes to change, the President of the Republic promulgated the diploma (…) that changes the structure of the regional development and coordination commissions ”, reads a note issued by the Presidency of the Republic.
Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa had already given the 'green light', on June 12, the holding of indirect elections for the CCDR, but the diploma was subject to a parliamentary appraisal requested by the Social Democratic Party (PSD), Left Bloc (BE) and Communist Party (PCP). The discussion of the diploma in the Assembly of the Republic led to the change of the election date from September to October.
The President of the Republic had already said, when the initial diploma was enacted in June, which already enshrined the indirect election of the CCDR presidents, that “the diploma fully maintains the CCDR's legal nature as a deconcentrated State administration” and “also maintains the powers of direction, supervision and disciplinary action by the Government ”.
Taking into account that the Government continues to be able to choose one of the vice-presidents and to terminate the mandate of the president and vice-presidents, distinguishing itself from “a regional local authority or administrative region”, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa considered that the diploma “ it does not compromise debates and choices that may be made about regionalization, according to the Constitution and the will of the Portuguese people ”.
According to the Government, the indirect election for the CCDR aims to “guarantee a greater representation of all local elected representatives and better administration at regional level, reinforcing democratic legitimacy and transparency at the level of regional governance”.
Until now, the presidents of the five CCDRs (Norte, Centro, Lisbon and Vale do Tejo, Alentejo and Algarve) were appointed by the Government. With this new law, the presidents of the CCDR are elected, for a term of four years, by “an electoral college composed of the presidents and councilors of the municipal councils and the presidents and members of the municipal assemblies”, including “the presidents of junta parish in the respective territorial area ”.
The announcement of the promulgation of the said diploma appears first day of a short vacation of the President of the Republic.