22nd Mar 2018

Portuguese MPs enable referendum on EU Constitution

The two main Portuguese parties, the majority-holding Socialists and opposition Social Democrats, have agreed a common text to reform the Portuguese Constitution, in order to allow a referendum on the EU Constitution to take place in September.

The current Portuguese Constitution forbids referendums on "international treaties".

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The new text will include a special one-off exception to this rule for the referendum on the EU Constitution.

"We have agreed on a common minimum denominator", said the Portuguese opposition leader Marques Mendes, according to national media.

The Parliament is set to vote on the new text in a plenary session no later than June 15, writes Público, and the Portuguese are set to vote on the constitution simultaneously with local elections on 2, 6 or 9 September.

Quoted in Diário de Notícias, Mr Mendes added that Portugal should go ahead with the referendum despite the French and Dutch rejections of the EU charter as "the sovereignty of a people is not delegable, it has to be exercised".

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