Portugal returned a right-wing alliance to power in Sunday's (2 December) general elections, just five years after the overthrow of half a century of fight-wing dictatorship.
GV ZOOM INTO SV: Election posters
GV: Centre Democrat leader Diogu Freitas do Amaral casting vote.
SV: Socialist party leader Mario Soares casting vote.
SV: Communist party leader Alvaro Cunhal walking to voting booth
SV: Former Prime Minister Maria de Lourdes Pintasilgo giving press conference (2 shots)
GV: Communist party leader Cunhal addressing newsmen
CU: Democratic alliance party leader Francisco Sa Carneiro speaking in English
TRANSCRIPT: SEQ. 7: SA CARNEIRO: "The result we had in this moment show that the Alliance Democrat can have a majority in Parliament and so be able to form a Government. I would like to point out that this election shows especially the democratic majority, the common sense of the Portuguese people. We hope that all the other political forces will accept the results of the elections, out victory and that the other serving organs like the President of the Republic and the Council of the Revolution will do the same. I think that finally Portugal will find a line of stability, of moderation and of economic and social recovery."
FREITAS DO AMARAL: "I think that this is a very important victory for our country and for Europe. I think this is the consummation of the tendency in the last years in Europe to defeat the Marxist parties and forces in Western Europe and for the strengthening and defence of freedom of true democracy and of the Western World."
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Portugal returned a right-wing alliance to power in Sunday's (2 December) general elections, just five years after the overthrow of half a century of fight-wing dictatorship. The Democratic Alliance led by 45 year old Francisco Sa Carneiro gained 128 seats in Parliament, giving it a majority of six over the combined opposition of socialists, communists and one deputy from the extreme left People's Democratic Union.
SYNOPSIS: Since the overthrow of the rightwing dictatorship in 1974, Portugal has been committed to a Socialist model of development but this time the socialists were on the defensive. Centre Democrat leader Diogu Freitas do Amaral played a major role in the Conservative offensive.
Socialist leader Mario Soares has accused the Democratic Alliance of planning a return to the social injustices of the past, while the Communists claim that Democratic Alliance win is just a short step from dictatorship. Communist leader Alvaro Cunhal heads one of the most orthodox Marxist-leninist parties in Europe, but ironically despite the swing to the Conservatives the Communists gained seven more seats in the election.
Mario de Lourdes Pintasilgo, Portugal's first woman Prime Minister, had a hard task during her reign as interim leader. preparing for the elections called to break the political deadlock arising from the collapse of the Socialist-Conservative alliance. The Democratic Alliance considers its victory a major defeat for Marxism, and both Alliance leader Francesco Sa Carneiro and Freitas do Amaral appeared confident that their victory would herald a new period of stability. First Sa carneiro: