National Parliament approves urgent procedures for Government Proposals and Assesses 2023 Budget Execution

Fri. 19 of April of 2024, 02:24h

Last week, the National Parliament approved the urgent procedure requests for three legislative initiatives proposed by the Government and discussed the report and opinion on the budget execution for the fourth quarter of the 2023 financial year. The Government also clarified the situation regarding former teachers hired in 2023. The Vice Minister for Parliamentary Affairs, Adérito Hugo da Costa, and the proponent Ministers for the analysed matters attended the discussions. 437892657_122148698762099785_4751798748397777019_n

In an extraordinary plenary session on April 12th, 2024, the members of the National Parliament discussed and unanimously approved the request for urgent processing of the Law Proposal for the second amendment to Law No. 8/2009, of July 15th, on the Anti-Corruption Commission, with 37 votes in favour and no votes against or abstentions. 438205867_122148462266099785_8986795460445497464_n

Since the Anti-Corruption Commission was established, the requirement for an enhanced quorum to elect its Commissioner has hampered the normal and regular electoral process, thus compromising the functioning of this criminal police body specialising in the fight against corruption. With this law, the Commissioner can be elected or dismissed by an absolute majority of the Members of the National Parliament, and the requirement that at least three-quarters of the Members in office be present will be removed. Last Monday, the Vice Minister for Parliamentary Affairs, Adérito Hugo da Costa, in his capacity as acting Minister of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers, and the Minister for Justice, Sérgio Hornai, also took part in a hearing with Committee A, which deals with Constitutional Affairs and Justice, to clarify the objectives of this law proposal. 437892657_122148698762099785_4751798748397777019_n

On April 16, it was the turn of the requests for urgent procedure of the Proposals for the third amendment to Law No. 3/2006, of April 12, on the Status of National Liberation Combatants and the Framework Law on Higher Education to be approved by a large majority of the National Parliament. The request for urgent procedure on veterans' status received 44 votes in favour, two against and nine abstentions, while the Framework Law on Higher Education received 39 votes in favour, eight against and nine abstentions. In addition to the Vice Minister for Parliamentary Affairs, the plenary session was attended by the Minister for Higher Education, Science and Culture, José Honório da Costa Pereira Jerónimo, and the Minister for National Liberation Fighters' Affairs, Gil da Costa Monteiro "Oan Soru".  

The law proposal to amend the Statute of National Liberation Combatants aims to promote the official recognition of National Liberation Veterans and Combatants by awarding decorations and other acts of recognition to all those who fought for the country during the most troubled period of the struggle for independence and national sovereignty, specifically between 1975 and 1978, which corresponds to the period of the Support Bases. The proposal also aims to correct gaps in the current legislation relating to the granting of pensions to the families of the Martyrs of the Liberation of the Country, as well as resolving problems in the implementation of the single cash pension and changing the representative structure of the National Liberation Combatants to contribute to social harmony and national political stability. 437919344_122148698810099785_7406428568249296153_n

In the second law proposal under analysis, more than 14 years after the entry into force of the Framework Law on Education, it is proposed to create a specific Framework Law for higher education. Among the measures proposed is replacing Diplomas I and II with Higher Technical-Vocational Courses lasting four semesters (two years) to correct inequalities in awarding degrees. Amendments are also proposed to the duration of the bachelor's degree cycle, allowing a master's degree to be awarded after twelve semesters. The new law authorises distance learning in higher education and stipulates that Portuguese is the primary language of instruction. 

In the ordinary plenary session held on April 15, 2024, the National Parliament assessed the budget execution report for the fourth quarter of 2023. The report presented by Commission C revealed that 87 per cent of the General State Budget had been executed. During the debate, MPs expressed positive appreciation for the budget execution of the 2023 financial year and made recommendations for the next budget cycle. The discussion was attended by the Minister of Finance, Santina José Rodrigues F. Viegas Cardoso, accompanied by the Vice Minister of Finance, Felícia Claudinanda Cruz Carvalho and the Vice Minister of Parliamentary Affairs.

On April 16th, the Minister of Education, Dulce de Jesus Soares, accompanied by the Secretary of State for General Secondary Education and Vocational Secondary Education, Domingos Lopes Lemos and the Vice Minister for Parliamentary Affairs, also went to the National Parliament to provide clarification on the issue of former teachers hired in 2023.437959811_122149026212099785_531573099176073442_n

At the session, the Minister of Education clarified that, legally, the former teachers hired in 2023 were integrated into the general system through temporary service contracts, with a duration of one year, from January 1st to December 31st, 2023, and were not considered to have a special teaching career. Dulce de Jesus Soares also stressed that the contracts naturally ended on December 31st, as established, and that the Ministry of Education does not have the authority to extend them. Those formerly hired in 2023 are not eligible for Special Entry because they need a teaching record proven by at least one performance evaluation in SIGAP. Those with the minimum qualifications can apply to the pool of candidates.