Prime Minister Of Portugal Resigns Amid Corruption Probe

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John Oyewale Contributor
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Portugal’s prime minister resigned from office Tuesday following a widespread corruption probe, according to reports.

“The dignity of the Prime Minister’s duties is not compatible with any suspicion regarding his integrity, his good conduct and, even less, with the suspicion of the commission of any criminal act,” António Costa, 62, said in a statement released Tuesday. “Therefore, in these circumstances, obviously, I have presented my resignation to the president of the republic.”

Costa noted his surprise at an announcement by Portugal’s Attorney General’s Office that the country’s Supreme Court would initiate or had already initiated criminal proceedings against him, the statement noted.

The office began investigating Costa and several of his cabinet ministers for alleged prevarication, active and passive corruption, and influence peddling, Euronews reported. Lithium mining concessions and two projects involving hydrogen energy production and the construction of a data center are reportedly the issues under investigation, the BBC noted. A judge issued arrest warrants for Costa’s Chief of Staff Vítor Escária, the mayor of the town of Sines where the hydrogen plant and data center would be located, and three others. (RELATED: Sweden’s Leader Resigns After Elections Show First-Ever Right-Wing Populist Win)

Portuguese President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa’s swift acceptance of Costa’s resignation means he is now likely to dissolve parliament and call for a new election, Euronews noted. Meanwhile, 10 of Costa’s ministers have reportedly resigned since his Socialist Party won in 2022.

Costa served as prime minister for eight years, leading the 21st Constitutional Government from 2015 to 2019, the 22nd from 2019 to 2022, and the 23rd from March 2022, according to the government’s website. He has also served as general secretary of the Socialist Party since 2014, the website noted.

Portugal is home to the oldest continuously operating U.S. Consulate in the world, located in Ponta Delgada on the island of Sao Miguel in the Azores archipelago, per the U.S. Department of State.