Portugal's government has altered legislation on the new status of the national guard, the GNR, that had been vetoed by the country's president, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, to ensure that only colonels trained at the military academy may be promoted to brigadier-general.
"The cabinet also reviewed the statute that approves the military status of the GNR, taking into consideration the position of the President of the Republic in relation to one of the measures contained in the legislation," the cabinet office minister, Maria Manuel Leitão Marques, said at a news conference after a regular weekly meeting.
The government thus opted "to alter the draft legislation so as to foresee that in the GNR only colonels with basic training obtained at the military academy may be promoted to the post of brigadier-general".
In a statement, the government said that the clause that would have allowed GNR officers with no such training to reach the top of the force's hierarchy.
The government also decided to add a new clause to article 196 of the GNR's statutes, in which is stated that “promotions to general staff and of [members of the] general staff are made by choice from among the officers with higher-level basic training in military sciences, conferred by an establishment of public university military higher education, who possess complementary qualifications identical to those demanded for access to posts of the general staff of the Armed Forces."
The president had on Tuesday vetoed the legislation as it stood, taking the view that the fact that allowing officers without the qualifications in question to be promoted to brigadier-general "could create serious problems" in the force and in the armed forces. In a message on the presidency's internet portal, the head of state noted that the proposals "enshrine a special condition for promotion to the post of brigadier-general that represents a very different regime" from that in the armed forces.