Minister just “observes”. The “final word” on military reform is from Marcelo

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Mario Cruz / Lusa

The Minister of National Defense, João Gomes Cravinho

João Gomes Cravinho was asked about the criticisms left by the military chiefs of the three branches of the Armed Forces in the National Defense Commission.

This Tuesday, the Minister of National Defense, João Gomes Cravinho, considered that currently its role in the reform of the Armed Forces is “simply to observe” the ongoing legislative process and stressed that the “final word” belongs to the President of the Republic, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa.

“I believe that my role at the moment is simply to observe respect for the strict institutionality of the process that is underway”, he said in statements to journalists, at the Lisbon Naval Base, where he accompanied the departure of the Tridente submarine for a two-month mission. in the Mediterranean.

The government official was asked about the criticisms left by the military leaders of the three branches of the Armed Forces in the National Defense Committee, in Parliament, where the two Government proposals, which amend the National Defense Law and the Organic Law, are being discussed in detail. of the Armed Forces (LOBOFA).

“Right now, it is in the Assembly of the Republic that the discussion is taking place in accordance with our constitutional norms and when I leave the AR, I predict, with a vote very strong favorable, then, it will go to the President of the Republic who, as he said, has the last word”, he stressed.

Cravinho added that “naturally the military leaders have their points of view”, pointing out that they shared “some of these ideas” with him, but that the current legislative process is “perfectly normal”.

“The process is a perfectly normal process, that is, there is a proposal that the Government submits to the Assembly of the Republic, the AR voted and sent it for discussion in the specialty in which the heads were heard and soon the AR, the National Defense commission, will make its vote on according to what he learned and reflected on the proposals and on the different ideas regarding these proposals”, he summed up.

The minister also added that the Superior Council for National Defense, the President’s consultation body specifically for matters relating to national defense and the organization, functioning and discipline of the Armed Forces, which meets this Wednesday, will have as its themes the conclusions of the summit. of NATO held in Brussels and “some adjustments that will be made” in the Portuguese Detached National Forces in the second half of the year.

O Trident submarine left today from the Lisbon Naval Base, in Almada, with a crew of 33 soldiers, to participate in NATO’s Operation “Sea Guardian” [Organização do Tratado do Atlântico Norte] and support the European Union’s Operation IRINI, which is scheduled to return in August.

The executive’s proposals to review the National Defense Law and the Organic Law on Armed Forces Bases (LOBOFA) were generally approved on May 20 with the votes of the PS, PSD and CDS.

Voted against BE, PCP, PEV, Chega, and the PAN, the Liberal Initiative and the two non-registered deputies Joacine Katar Moreira (ex-Livre) and Cristina Rodrigues (ex-PAN) abstained.

The reform, which concentrates more power in CEMGFA, was criticized by former military chiefs and two former Presidents, Ramalho Eanes and Cavaco Silva.