Portugal's Prime Minister Designate, Senhor Victor Crespo, proposed by the ruling Democratic Alliance on January 10, was formally ratified has successor to Social Democrat leader Francisco Pinto Balsemao on January 14.
GV Members of new cabinet arriving for meeting at government building. (4 SHOTS)
SVs Cabinet meeting in progress. (5 SHOTS)
GVs Members of Portuguese Communist Party at rally. (2 SHOTS)
SV PCP Secretary-General Alvaro Cunhal addressing rally. (Portuguese SOT)
GV PAN Crowd applauding and raising closed fists.
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Background: Portugal's Prime Minister Designate, Senhor Victor Crespo, proposed by the ruling Democratic Alliance on January 10, was formally ratified has successor to Social Democrat leader Francisco Pinto Balsemao on January 14. However, hours only after the announcement, thousands of communist supporters in Lisbon expressed their opposition to the Alliance at a rally called by the Portuguese Communist Party (PCP). The pro-Soviet communist party has long been urging President Antonio Ramalho Eanes to dismiss the Alliance government nad to call general elections. Addressing the rally, PCP General-Secretary Alvaro Cunhal accused the right-wing coalition of leading the country towards its downfall. He called on General Eanes, himself in conflict with the Democratic Alliance, to refect the cabinet now being proposed, and to dissolve parliament. So far, the Portuguese leader has resisted popular pressure to call general elections. In a bid to stabilise the country pressure to call general elections. In a bid to stabilise the country before its forthcoming entry into the European Economic Community, General Eanes worked hard to find an early replacement for Senhor Balsemao, who resigned last December. The former prime minister's Social Democratic Party is the strongest in an uneasy alliance which includes the Christian Democratic Party, the Popular Monarchist Party, and a group of independents.