Leader of Portugal's Reform of Proletariat Movement (MRPP) Arnaldo Matos called for support for presidential candidate General Antonio Ramaho Eanes in Lisbon on Friday (11 June).
GV & SV Section of crowd in bullring (2 shots)
CU Arnaldo Matos addressing rally
GV Child sitting in ring
CU Arnaldo Matos speaking
GV Crowd chant "Viva"
General Eanes' opponents for the presidency are the Communist Party's Octavio Patio, Radical left-winger Major Otelo Saraiva de Carvalho who was operation leader of the coup which overthrows the right-wing dictatorship in 1974 and Admiral Jose Pinheiro de Azevedo, the current President. At a news conference in Lisbon on Tuesday (8 June) General Eanes called on Admiral Pinheiro to give up the premiership and campaign as an ordinary candidate. Admiral Pinheiro is General Eanes' main opponent in the presidential race.
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Background: Leader of Portugal's Reform of Proletariat Movement (MRPP) Arnaldo Matos called for support for presidential candidate General Antonio Ramaho Eanes in Lisbon on Friday (11 June).
SYNOPSIS: Mr. Matos' call came during an MRPP rally held in the city's bullring and was heard by nearly 4000 people who had travelled from all over Portugal to take part. The presidential elections will be held on 27 June and official campaigning started on Saturday (12 June). Mr. Matos told the crowd that his party was backing General Eanes because they believed he could lead Portugal to national unity. General Eanes is 41 and the army's chief of staff.
Mr. Matos said the MRPP saw General Eanes as the only suitable candidate of the four in the presidential race who could become a figurehead for a democratic Portugal. He said that they could not support the Communists because they were "social fascists and undemocratic" but felt that General Eanes" theories on socialism and workers" power were admirable. General Eanes is the favourite to win the presidency and he is being supported by the Socialists, the strongest party in the Legislative Assembly, the Centrist Popular Democrats (PPD) and the Conservative Centre Democrats (CDS).