INTRODUCTION: A special congress of Portugal's ruling Socialist Party ended in Oporto on Sunday night (30 January), without completing its aim of drawing up a revision of party statutes.
INTRODUCTION: A special congress of Portugal's ruling Socialist Party ended in Oporto on Sunday night (30 January), without completing its aim of drawing up a revision of party statutes. This failure further revealed a split in the party between Prime Minister and party leader mario Soares and a rebel Marxist faction.
SYNOPSIS: A rebellion by the Marxists had prevented the statutes from being drawn up at the main convention last November.
On Sunday the left-wing attack was led by the former Agriculture Minister, Senhor Antonio Lopes Cardoso, who resigned last October. He said the draft was not valid because it was drawn up by a select committee and not presented to the rank-and-file for approval. He called for the reinstatement of four Left-wing Socialists expelled last week for continual attacks on government policy, but this was rejected.
By the end of the one-day congress, only 37 of the 85 articles concerning party principles, rules of admission, discipline and committee regulations had been approved when the party executive ruled the meeting lacked a quorum.
The outstanding articles, which include a controversial change forbidding party members from publicly criticising the leadership, now go to the National Committee for debate and approval.