As a result of having a corruption probe launched against him recently, Portugal’s Prime Minister António Costa has made the decision to resign from office. On Tuesday, November 7, Costa released a statement where he addressed his surprise at the he announcement by Portugal’s Attorney General’s Office that the country’s Supreme Court would be initiating criminal proceedings against him.
This news comes after 10 ministers have resigned from his Socialist Party since their victory in 2022 and warrants being issued for Costa’s Chief of Staff Vítor Escária along with three others.
In this statement, Costa noted how “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…Therefore, in these circumstances, obviously, I have presented my resignation to the president of the republic.”
He had served as prime minister for eight years leading 21st Constitutional Government from 2015-2019 and 22nd and 23rd Constitutional Government from 2019-2022. This investigation involves lithium mining concessions as well as two projects involving hydrogen energy production data center projects located in Sines.
Portuguese President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa swiftly accepted Costa’s resignation which means he is most likely going to dissolve parliament and call for a new election according to Euronews report.
The U.S Department of State notes that Portugal is home to oldest continuously operating U.S Consulate located in Ponta Delgada on Sao Miguel Island in Azores archipelago making it a very important area geopolitically speaking for America’s foreign relations interests abroad.
With this recent news coming out about Prime Minister António Costa resigning due to a corruption probe, it raises questions about how this could affect future relations between Portugal and other nations.