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President dissolves Madeira parliament, calls elections for 26 May

Eight months after the last regional elections, voters in Madeira are once again being called to go to the polls on 26 May.

President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa dissolved the Madeira regional parliament and call early elections for 26 May, a decision announced after the Council of State and hearings with the parties.

According to a note published on the official website of the Presidency of the Republic after the Council of State that lasted around two hours, on Wednesday evening, this consultative body "gave a favourable opinion, by a majority of those voting, to the dissolution of the Legislative Assembly of the Autonomous Region of Madeira".

"The country's president thus decided to dissolve the Legislative Assembly of the Autonomous Region of Madeira and to schedule elections for 26 May 2024, having signed the respective decree, which was immediately endorsed by the prime minister in office," the note reads.

On Wednesday, President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa heard from the parties represented in the Madeira regional parliament and the Council of State about the political crisis that began with the resignation of the president of the regional government.

In an official statement, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa announced that he would be hearing the parties represented in the Madeira regional parliament from 10am on Wednesday, followed by the Council of State at 6pm.

The hearings will take place in ascending order of parliamentary representation, starting with the BE at 10am, followed at half-hour intervals by the PAN, IL, PCP, CDS and Chega.

In the afternoon, the head of state will hear from Juntos Pelo Povo (14:00), PS (14:30) and PSD (15:00). At 6pm there will be a meeting of the Council of State, the President's advisory body, in which the scenario of dissolving the Madeira regional parliament and calling early elections will be assessed.

Earlier this week, the country's president regained the power to dissolve Madeira's regional legislature, six months after the regional elections of 24 September, which the PSD/CDS-PP coalition won without an absolute majority.

Madeira's regional government has been in caretaker mode since the beginning of February, after the president of the executive, social democrat Miguel Albuquerque, resigned from his post after being made an official suspect in a case investigating suspected corruption in the archipelago.

Following Miguel Albuquerque's resignation, which was formally accepted on 5 February and led to the fall of the PSD/CDS-PP executive, the special representative of Portugal's presidency in Madeira, Ireneu Barreto, announced that he would keep Madeira's government in office until the head of state, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, decides whether to dissolve Madeira's parliament.



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