At the solemn commemoration of the 47th anniversary of April 25, 1974, the Assembly of the Republic will repeat the restrictive attendance model adopted last year due to the Covid-19 epidemic. This decision to repeat the 2020 model was made at the meeting of the Conference of Parliamentary Leaders on Wednesday and announced by the spokeswoman for this body, Socialist MP Maria da Luz Rosinha.
Last year, in the first wave of Covid-19 and the country’s state of emergency, fewer than 100 people were present in the semicircle, including guests, MPs and members of the government. The difference with this year will be the mandatory use of a mask, an element of hygiene security that practically no one wore in April last year.
Regarding participation in the bank, 46 of the 230 MPs took part in the solemn memorial session on April 25, 2020: 19 from the PS, 13 from the PSD, four from the BE, four from the PCP and one parliamentarian each from the other parties – CDS, PAN, ENP, Enough and Liberal Initiative – were added to the then only unregistered deputy, Joacine Qatar Moreira.
The government was represented by only four elements: the Prime Minister António Costa, the Minister of State and the Presidency, Mariana Vieira da Silva, the Minister of National Defense, João Gomes Cravinho, and the Secretary of State for Parliamentary Affairs, Duarte Lamb.
The guests, fewer than two dozen last year, were all seated in the galleries rather than in the space between the parties and the government benches.
Despite these restrictions on attendance, holding this April 25 session in the Assembly of the Republic amid the Covid-19 epidemic has been contested by political forces such as Chega and CDS. PP. However, the President of the Republic, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, defended in his speech that the solemn session of April 25 was “a good example and not a bad example” and that it would be “civically shameful” for Parliament to step down from the exercise now all your strength back.
“What would be really incomprehensible and bourgeois shameful would be that an entire country lived this time of sacrifice and surrender and the Assembly of the Republic is withdrawing from the exercise of all its powers in a situation in which they were and are more essential than ever. And also in this meeting, which was and will always be a decisive moment of critical and pluralistic control in freedom and democracy – because these are the values of April, ”said the head of state and received applause from the PS, PSD and BE banks.