The Transparency and Integrity association today accused PSD deputy Carlos Peixoto of having incurred a "blatant conflict of interests" by agreeing to be the rapporteur for a BE bill for the dissolution of the Gold Visas.
At stake is Carlos Peixoto's "interest-bearing participation" in the Caiado Guerreiro law firm which, according to Transparency and Integrity, specializes in, among other things, "providing legal advice services to Gold-Seen applicants."
The association addressed a letter to the chairman of the Constitutional Affairs Committee, Social Democrat Marques Guedes, to challenge the choice of the rapporteur of the bloc's bill that sought the end of the Gold Visas regime.
Carlos Peixoto's choice to draft the opinion "configures a glaring conflict of interests, which damages the suitability and independence not only of the Member concerned but of the entire Committee on Constitutional Affairs, Rights, Freedoms and Guarantees and the Assembly of the Republic "Writes Transparency and Integrity in the missive.
"The most elementary ethical rules in force in this House – and before them, common sense – would oblige the Member concerned to ask for an excuse for any intervention in this particular legislative process, in which the company in which he performs remunerated functions has a direct interest "He says.
The association chaired by João Paulo Batalha therefore asks the Ethics Parliamentary Subcommittee to evaluate "from a legal, ethical and deontological point of view this situation of conflict of interests of Representative Carlos Peixoto"
The Subcommittee should also "appraise the damage that its participation in this legislative process causes to the reputation and suitability of the Assembly (as well as its own) and to apply the disciplinary measures and ethical and conduct recommendations that it deems necessary and appropriate to remedy the situation and prevent similar conflicts of interest in the future. "
Asked by Lusa, the deputy and deputy chairman of the PSD bench Carlos Peixoto rejected any conflict of interest in this case, invoking the statute of deputies.
"I am well aware of the MPs' statute: what they impose are rules of transparency, they do not impose any inhibitions or limitations on being the rapporteur for any opinion," he said.
The Member pointed out that in the general debate on the BE proposal he would make it a point to inform at the outset that he is an adviser to a law firm which works – like many others – with issues related to raising investment or obtaining a residence by foreigners from outside the European Union.
Regarding the content of the opinion already delivered, Carlos Peixoto stressed that he considers that the BE project "is contrary to the national interest and not against the interests of the law firm A or B."
Founded in 2010, Transparency and Integrity is the Portuguese chapter of Transparency International, a global network of civil society organizations against corruption.