Pedro Calado resigned as a mayor of Funchal at the start of the week, Source: City of Funchal

Funchal mayor resigned after being arrested for corruption

Funchal mayor resigned after being arrested for corruption

The new head of the city council is Cristina Pedra

The last week of January was politically tumultuous on the usually quiet island of Madeira. The region, which enjoys autonomy from mainland Portugal saw the resignations of both the mayor of its capital Funchal and the president of the regional government.

Pedro Calado, the mayor of Funchal, was arrested on 24 January by the Judiciary Police on suspicions that he played part in a corruption scheme involving businessmen. On Monday this week, he decided to resign from his position as a mayor of the island capital having served since October 2021. The investigation is still ongoing however, it seems that the mayor is being suspected of seven crimes of passive corruption, according to CNN Portugal. If convicted, prison sentences could range from 1 to 8 years.

Meanwhile, Funchal already has a new mayor after councillor Cristina Pedra took over the mayoral seat thus becoming the first female mayor in the history of the city.

Madeiran President also resigned

The end of January presented a true political crisis in the Atlantic Ocean island, since following the arrest and investigation of the Funchal mayor, the head of the regional government – Miguel Albuquerque – also decided to resign from his position.

It’s somewhat murky what happened in that case, as Mr Albuquerque, who’s been the head of the regional government since 2015, was also accused of political corruption though it was unclear what exactly. Following two days of uncertainty, he announced on 26 January that he would resign.

Nevertheless, he might still continue to exercise his duties as a leader because, according to the regional constitution, a new government cannot be dissolved within the first six months after elections have taken place. The last regional election was on 24 September, which means that Miguel Albuquerque could still be the president until the end of March despite having officially resigned.



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