Parliament overrides presidential veto and passes ecological tax 26 July 2012
The bill of law for the creation of the Ecological Tax, which was vetoed by President Jorge Carlos Fonseca, was once again approved by the National Assembly, which overrode the veto with 37 votes in favor from the PAICV and 28 votes against from the MpD. The UCID’s two legislators abstained.
The debate prior to the vote was characterized by various divergent interpretations of President Jorge Carlos Fonseca’s veto, with opposition party MpD calling for the arguments used by the head of state to be included in the plenary session’s minutes. The governing PAICV, for its part, argued that this was not necessary, alleging that the reading of this type of message has not precedent and that the contents of the presidential veto were not what was being discussed. This latter argument ended up prevailing.
On July 10, Jorge Carlos Fonseca for the first time exercised his vetoing authority, refusing to sign into law a bill creating the Ecological Tax, alleging that the new law, substituting a previous document from 1995, removes the possibility for municipal chambers to receive revenues deriving from the levying of the tax, which, according to the new version of the law, would be channeled into Cape Verde’s Environment Fund.
The fund’s bylaws stipulate that revenues be used to finance environment restoration operations, informational and training activities, and activities aimed at battling desertification and environmental pollution.
Last week, the government, in the voice of Minister of the Environment Antero Veiga, accused the President of having carried out a “political veto,” basing himself on an already revoked law.