Fifteen thousand people attended a rally for the Communist Party's presidential candidate, Senhor Octavio Pato in Setubal, south of Lisbon on Saturday (19 June).
GV Chanting crowds PCP supporters ZOOM INTO Photograph of Pato (4 shots)
GV Crowds singing and clapping (2 shots)
GV PAN Crowd cheering
GV Cunhal on rostrum and crowd
GV Crowd chanting for Cunhal and waving Communist flags
CU Cunhal chanting and linking hands on rostrum with supporters
In legislative elections on april 25, the Communists won more than 14 per cent of the vote. They won 40 of the 262 seats in the National Assembly. Since then, the party has unsuccessfully called on the Socialists, the biggest single group with 106 deputies, to form a coalition "Government of the Left".
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Background: Fifteen thousand people attended a rally for the Communist Party's presidential candidate, Senhor Octavio Pato in Setubal, south of Lisbon on Saturday (19 June).
SYNOPSIS: The Presidential election will be held in Portugal next Sunday (27 June). There are four candidates fighting for the position, with Army Chief of staff, General Antonio Eanes the clear favourite, according to Reuters. General Eanes is backed by Portugal's three strongest parties - the Socialists, the Centre Popular Democrats and the Conservative Centre Democrats. But this hasn't deterred the Communists - who are still extremely confident.
Senhor Pato, now 51 years-old, joined the Communist party when he was a teenager. In 1961 he was captured and tortured by the secret police of President Salazar before being jailed for eight-and-a-half years because of his political beliefs. He became a full member of the central committee in 1952 and was responsible for the party newspaper, Avante.
Accompanying Senhor Pato on stage was Communist party general-secretary, Dr. Alvaro Cunhal. Doctor Cunhal accused Major Otelo Saraiva de Carvalho, representing the radical left-wing parties, of attempting to divide the vote of the armed forces and workers. In the legislative elections last April, the Communists improved their position taking more than 14 per cent of the vote.