Friday, April 16, 2021

After all, vaccination working group in Parliament will not exist – ZAP

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Mário Cruz / Lusa

After all, contrary to what was advanced this Tuesday, the working group that should coordinate the vaccination process of deputies will not exist.

The Assembly of the Republic clarified this afternoon, in a statement, that there is no plan to set up a working group for vaccination against covid-19, which would be chaired by socialist MP Edite Estrela.

The communiqué from the Assembly of the Republic’s communication office was broadcast hours after PS deputy Maria da Luz Rosinha released the conclusions of this morning’s meeting of the leaders’ conference.

Before the journalists, Maria da Luz Rosinha, as spokesperson for the conference of leaders, indicated that the deputy speaker of the Assembly of the Republic Edite Estrela would preside over the parliament’s working group on vaccination against covid-19.

“Regarding the information provided following today’s leaders’ conference, regarding vaccination in the Assembly of the Republic, Mrs Maria da Luz Rosinha asks us to state that the Vice-President of the Assembly of the Republic, Edite Estrela, will directly articulate with the Secretary-General of the Assembly of the Republic and with the various parliamentary groups – and, of course, with those responsible for the vaccination plan ”.

Thus, according to the same press release, “the constitution is not foreseen a working group for that purpose ”.

This morning, when she released the conclusions of the leaders conference meeting, Maria da Luz Rosinha said that “less than 30” out of a total of 230 deputies are vaccinated so far and said that the vaccination process will include officials considered essential to the functioning of the Assembly of the Republic.

On February 2, at a conference of parliamentary leaders – and in view of the controversy that was installed in parliament about the selection of deputies for the vaccination process -, the President of the Assembly of the Republic suggested setting up a group work to accompany this same process, until reaching all the deputies wishing to be vaccinated.

In a statement released at that time, Ferro Rodrigues said that vaccination should also include officials from the Assembly of the Republic “considered indispensable to guarantee the effective functioning of this sovereign body”.

“The President of the Assembly of the Republic considers it most useful to set up a working group to monitor the process that is now starting and that will continue, on a scheduled basis, until it reaches all the deputies who want to be vaccinated, as well as the officials considered indispensable for to guarantee the effective functioning of this sovereign body, reviewing the advanced proposals, on which the conference of leaders will address, in a meeting that will be convened when justified ”, reads that note.

According to Ferro Rodrigues, at a meeting of the leaders’ conference in late January, they were “criteria for the letter to be sent – precedence of the State Protocol and members of the Permanent Commission, and with a subsequent suggestion to parliamentary leaders for the indication of names based on age or health status ”.

These same criteria, he stressed, “did not deserve contributions from any group parliamentary”. And on Friday, January 29, “the response was sent to the prime minister, who attended to the positions of parliamentary groups as to who, from the defined universe, should or should not be on the list”.

Following this step, according to the President of the Assembly of the Republic, “at the request of the PSD Parliamentary Group, and, subsequently, of two presidents of permanent parliamentary commissions [Marcos Perestello e Sérgio Sousa Pinto, ambos do PS] and deputy member of the Permanent Commission [Maria Begonha, do PS], adjustments were made to the initial relationship ”.

More than a dozen PSD deputies, including President Rui Rio, as well as those three socialists, asked to stay off the initial list which included 50 deputies to be vaccinated.

“All administrative and sanitary procedures for the vaccination process to start are taking place in articulation between the secretary general of the Assembly of the Republic and the Ministry of Health, in a process that will take place according to the criteria and priorities stipulated and at the pace health authorities define, ”added Ferro Rodrigues in that same note.

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