Portugal's main opposition party, the Social Democrats, chose party founder Dr. Francisco Sa Carneiro to?
Portugal's main opposition party, the Social Democrats, chose party founder Dr. Francisco Sa Carneiro to return as their President on Sunday (2 July) night in Lisbon. They have been without a leader since Dr. Sa Carneiro quit last November after failing to stop the Social Democrats from voting with the government on a controversial land reform programme.
SYNOPSIS: The purpose of the two-day congress of the Social Democrats was to solve an eight-month leadership crisis. The party had been in disarray since Dr. Carneiro resigned after failing to win support for his hard-line opposition to the ruling Socialist government. The Social Democrats are the main opposition party with 73 deputies in the 263 seat Parliament. They couldn't find an alternative leader to Carneiro after he quit, and on Sunday (2 July) he won complete victory over party dissidents. The congress agreed to back his demands for the party to be included in a government of "National Salvation" before general elections scheduled for 1980.
The 800 delegates agreed to a new party line which blames President Antonio Ramalho Eanes for the formation and maintenance of the present government which they say "because of inability and inefficiency aggravates the present crisis in Portugal". They accused the President of allowing the lowering of living standards, and an erosion of democracy. They pledged to do all they could to topple the government by constitutional means.
Dr. Carneiro said the position of the part was much calmer now than in the past six months and this had allowed him to return to the leadership.