LISBON   -   Portuguese President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa has proposed a new anti-nepotism law to prevent government appointments based on family ties, local media reported.

The president made the proposal amid a growing nepotism scandal ahead of the general elections in October, according to Portuguese Lusa News Agency.

“We are reaching the conclusion that perhaps ethics is not enough,” the president said, noting that the law in force was almost 20 years old and had not kept up with Portugal’s “demanding” public opinion.

Rebelo de Sousa advocated new legislation to prevent family members being selected for government positions after a senior Portuguese government official resigned recently over accusations that he had picked his cousin as his deputy.

He clarified that he was referring to the Administrative Procedure Code, which currently includes an “absolute ban” in nominating close family members, with “bleaker limitations” when it comes to aunts, uncles and cousins, Lusa reported late Friday.

Rebelo de Sousa was quoted as saying that if these rules existed for the public administration in general, they should be taken into account for political roles too.