"The pressure of the Attorney General to try to condition a free and democratically elected Parliament is unacceptable. What, for that matter, would not be said if it were the other way around: for example, the President of the RA to press the PGR to file a suit, "wrote Rui Rio in a publication posted today in his account of the social network Twitter.
The Social Democrat leader commented on Monday in Coimbra about the possible change in the composition of the CSMM advocated by the current PSD leadership, namely the increase in the number of members appointed by the parliament and the President of the Republic.
The Attorney General of the Republic argued that any change to the composition of the Superior Council of the Public Prosecutor's Office (CSMP) would be a "grave breach of the principle of autonomy", assuming that his stay in office could be jeopardized if the amendments were advanced.
"I want to make it clear that any amendment concerning the composition of the Higher Council of the Public Prosecution that affects its current legal design – namely by pointing to a majority of non-magistrate members – has a serious violation of the principle of autonomy and consequently a radical alteration of the assumptions that have determined the acceptance I made of the position of attorney general, "said Lucília Gago, in Coimbra, at the inauguration of the new district attorney general of Coimbra, Maria José Bandeira.
Last Thursday, the president of the Public Prosecutors' Union (SMMP), António Ventinhas, also justified a strike in February with the alleged intention of the PS and PSD to change the composition of the CSMP.
According to Ventinhas, that change, with the majority being the members designated by the political power, what is at issue is "control of the Public Prosecutor's Office and criminal investigation", namely the fight against corruption and other economic-financial crime.
The PS, by the voice of Deputy Filipe Neto Brandão, repeatedly rejected that his parliamentary group intends to interfere in the composition of the CSMP or in the "constitutional principle" of "autonomy of the Public Prosecutor's Office".
"It is not the purpose of the PS parliamentary group to change the criterion of guarantee of a majority of MP magistrates [Ministério Público] superior to the elements elected or appointed outside that magistrature, "reiterated a statement from the Socialist group.
The position of the Socialists came after the President of the Republic, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, considered any change in the composition of the CSMP to be inappropriate.
"The mere change of composition does not require constitutional revision, it requires the President to promulgate. And it became clear to me that I considered this issue inopportune at the moment, "said Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, at the end of an initiative on Europe, at the Geography Society of Lisbon.
On Saturday, former PGR Joana Marques Vidal also defended that "it will maintain" the current composition of the CSMP, in the name of independence of the courts.