New President takes office?

… and Albuquerque’s successor selected today

New President takes office

The headline of today’s edition of JM reports on a confidential meeting that was captured by the newspaper which took place yesterday morning at Funchal City Hall when various prominent members of Câmara Municipal do Funchal (CMF) got together to discuss the way forward.

The new leader, Cristina Pedra is still described as “Vice President” of Funchal on a lot of the municipal media, whilst confusingly, her now disgraced boss Pedro Calado on their own website remains as “President” – which I suppose is technically correct until the authority receives his letter of resignation, although his own lawyer has confirmed his resignation.

Meanwile, his own Facebook page still confirms him as “Presidente at Câmara Municipal do Funchal”.

PJ operation last week criticised

The Diario reports that two former prosecutors criticize the Judicial Police operation that took place last week and ask for explanations. Cunha Rodrigues and Souto Moura, who led the Attorney General’s Office between 1984 and 2006, contest the sending of hundreds of PJ personnel to Madeira and lament the “violation of judicial secrecy”. The three defendants are expected to begin being interrogated today.

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The Diario also reports that the new president of Câmara Municipal do Funchal (CMF) Cristina Pedra wants her house tidy by Thursday. They report that the council is united around the new president. But the reformulation of the team is, however, dependent on the date on which Pedro Calado formalizes his resignation from his position. Regarding the case that has shaken Madeira in recent days, a specialist in criminal law defends the end of judicial secrecy to avoid “illegal behavior”.

Highlighted on these pages, you will also find that Albuquerque’s replacement will be known today . The meeting, this Monday, between the President of the Government and the Representative of the Republic has not been confirmed, but the PSD Regional Council ‘elects’ the new leader for the Executive.

The PSD/Madeira Regional Council today chose the name to propose to lead the Madeiran executive, after Miguel Albuquerque was named a defendant in a process investigating suspected corruption and announced that he will abandon his position.

The meeting of the social-democratic Regional Council will take place at the Madeira Congress Center, in Funchal, with the announcement of the name that will be proposed to lead the Regional Government expected for the end of the afternoon.

Defendants await interrogation

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The three arrested on Wednesday on suspicion of corruption in Madeira, including the mayor of Funchal, Pedro Calado (PSD), begin being interrogated today in Lisbon.

The start of work is scheduled for 2 pm, at the Central Criminal Investigation Court, on the Justice Campus.

After being identified on Friday, the defendants were also in court on Saturday, but the interrogations “did not formally begin”, according to Paulo Sá e Cunha, lawyer for the mayor of Funchal.

Speaking to journalists on Saturday, Paulo Sá e Cunha explained that during that day “certain pieces of evidence that were not yet available in the process” were completed.

Following this process, Pedro Calado decided to resign as mayor of Funchal, because “he understood that it was the appropriate conduct given the circumstances he is going through”, the mayor’s lawyer revealed on Saturday.

According to a judicial source, the case was distributed to judge Jorge Bernardes de Melo, of the Central Criminal Instruction Court, and on Friday the defendants and lawyers had access to the facts in question and the evidence about the case initiated by the Judiciary Police. (PJ) and the Public Ministry (MP).

Also according to a judicial source, the investigation will begin with businessman Custódio Correia, who is the main shareholder of the group linked to civil construction Socicorreia, followed by Avelino Farinha, leader of the construction group AFA, and, finally, the president of Funchal Chamber.

At issue are suspicions of active and passive corruption, economic participation in business, malfeasance, receiving or offering improper advantages, abuse of powers and influence peddling, according to the PJ.

16 thoughts on “New President takes office?”

  1. Can someone make clear the political association between Pedro Calado, resigned Mayor of Funchal and his deputy Cristina Pedra. Are they members of the same political party? If so, it’s hard to believe, but not impossible, that the lady had some knowledge of what seemed to be known by everyone else. Even if a member of the opposition she must have some inkling of the situation.

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    • I am confused about this too. Surely she must have been aware of anything and everything that was going on in her job as Deputy. Indeed also, surely people were carrying out the orders from the top – so did no one ever think something was not quite right? Like putting a sticking plaster on someone who just had major surgery. The real answer would be to go back to square one and have an election for Governor and see what the people think. The President of Portugal’s statement (I think) said no one who has ever been in high office should be elected to Governor of Madeira – which sounds spot on – but that still leaves all the politicians in Funchal in charge. Should they not have been forced to stand down and be re-elected in due course too?

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      • It is up to the justice to say if she was or was not in the know of this corruption. Of course, the corruption in Madeira has been common knowledge for decades, but in order to make someone step down you need more than ‘common knowledge´, you need proof.

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    • George Nabbs
      They are from the same party but doesn’t mean that all them are involved in the present situation it is very dangerous making judgements and assumptions and conclusions and pointing the finger that everyone is guilty and are involved in that situation . Leave the justice finish their enquirers and investigations without the hysteria of the press and people thinking that everyone is guilty until prove or not .

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      • Isabel, I admire that you always rightly stand up for Madeira but I have not suggested the lady herself was involved in anything untoward. I have suggested on previous posts that judgement should be delayed until the evidence has been heard but I find it hard to believe that she as deputy and of the same party as the Mayor did not have some inkling, of what was going on. Madeira is a small island with a very small, circle of movers and shakers, perhaps it would be better for all if she was to refuse the post and suggest a member of another Party be appointed.

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        • . In certain away you made a good point and like you said it is a small circle of movers and shakers and some of them had knowledge others did not and . And lets hope that the old and middle age politicians learn a lesson that no one is above the law and order and in the future things need to be done following the rules.

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  2. And what about the guilty ones in the UK still going one with their lives complete immune of anything and it seems that all the investigations and enquirers been brush under the carpet complete . In the end my conclusion is that some of them seem above of justice and the law to get away everything and anything . And even some of them have the audacity to relay in the taxpayers money for continue pay for their luxurious lifestyle and even defence goes beyond my comparison how the UK people manage to allow that .

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  3. Isabel,
    I was talking yesterday to my wife about how I may fraudulently take from my companies and the answer was ” not without involving others,in the company” I’m the Head,not the accountant, not the book keeper and not the person who banks the money,some of the figures banded around here are huge, multi millions coming in from Europe and I guarantee,not in suitcases and not the odd 10k30k found under a bed etc
    If these sums are to be believed and confirmed then it has to have been,quite a number of people involved with each transaction. The whole system is suspect, it’s clear out time and reboot, but who is capable of running the government, who has the respect,who has the talents,charisma and energy to hit the ground running. If not careful a vacuum will be created and that believe me is not good, or people with good intent,but lacking experience get put in place,and this goes from one disaster to another. At this time the world is riddled with such ideologies and Madeira is suffering as a consequence, people coming “home” to really no future from, Venuzalia, SA, Brazil, even Channel islands and many other places,doing what their forebares did in reverse,just up sticks, abandom homes and come back to Madeira,because their ideals have turned sour, It’s their right,but my golly is it putting pressure on.

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