After the January elections, Parliament will need to hold a re-debate which could upset the balance of power.
Portugal President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, who opposed the bill to legalize Euthanasia, was rejected by Parliament. He claimed that the conditions that would allow medically assisted deaths were too vague and might be too radical.
Lawmakers can overrule a presidential veto, or fix the contested clauses, but will only have time to debate the issue following elections scheduled for January 30 — and it’s not certain the majority behind legalization will be reelected.
Rebelo de Sousa, Monday night’s writer, wrote that the bill requires an “incurable disease ‘…” in one section. However, it expands it to an ‘incurable’ disease elsewhere, even though it is not fatal.
If the standard of legalization of euthanasia is lower than that of fatal diseases, the President asked whether the draft law “represents a more radical and radical vision than the mainstream view of Portuguese society?”
The bill was supported by the parliament with 138 votes in support to 84 and five abstentions. This will allow Portugal to join those countries that have legalized euthanasia, including Spain which passed similar laws in June.
The anger displayed by lawmakers who voted for the bill was a result of the president’s actions.
“This is a cynical and unjustified veto.” TweetPedro Filipe Soares (parliamentary leader of Left Party). “But the final decision will not be the president’s cynicism. Sooner or later, legal euthanasia is coming. The next legislature will erase the memory of this inhumane veto of Marcelo Rebelo de Souza, and I’m sure of this. .”
This is the second instance of a president from the center stopping the parliament’s legalization of euthanasia.
The Constitutional Court was not satisfied with the bill he sent to them. Although the text was tightened by legislators, the president made his decision late at night soon after returning to Lisbon from Angola.
Socialist MP Isabel Moreira, (Isabel Moreira), was a strong supporter of the bill. She stated that Rebelo de Sousa was motivated more by his personal opposition towards euthanasia than by following the Constitution.