• Short Summary

    President Costa Gomes of Portugal yesterday (Friday, 2 April) presented the country's new Constitution to the National Assembly -- the first since the overthrow of the Caetano regime two years ago.

  • Description

    President Costa Gomes of Portugal yesterday (Friday, 2 April) presented the country's new Constitution to the National Assembly -- the first since the overthrow of the Caetano regime two years ago.

    The 60-page document, which gives state control and nationalisation strong priorities over private enterprise, has been criticised by both centre and right-wing parties, and the President himself said in his address to the Assembly that he did not agree with some of the points in the Constitution.

    What the Constitution does, in effect, is prevent any future centre or right governments from honouring their election pledges -- and obliges them to follow a strictly socialist line during their administration.

    Despite their disappointment with the terms of the Constitution, President Costa Gomes' government and the military members of the Council of the Revolution have vowed to back it under the revolutionary slogan of "power to the people".

    The new Constitution comes into force on April 25th -- polling day for Portugal's first free Parliamentary elections in 50 years -- and, although it has been hailed by Portuguese Socialists and Communists as "one of the most advanced in the Capitalist world", there are still doubts that it reflects the mood of the country which has swung increasingly from left to right during the past 23 months of coups and counter-coups.

    SYNOPSIS: The Portuguese National Assembly met in a special session on Friday to promulgate the country's new Constitution -- the first since the overthrow of the Caetano regime two years ago. This Constitution comes into force on April 25th -- polling day for Portugal's first Parliamentary elections in 50 years. But, even before it had been presented to the National Assembly by President Costa Gomes, it was already a subject of controversy. Giving state control and nationalisation strong priorities over private enterprise, it has been hailed by the left as "one of the most advanced in the Capitalist world". But, to the right and centre parties, it is a tie which will prevent them from honouring many election pledges if they win the elections.

    In his address, President Costa Gomes himself said that he did not agree with some points in the sixty-page document, but stressed that his government and the Council of the Revolution would back it under the revolutionary slogan "power to the people". Despite the new Constitution's left-wing language, it is also seen as a liberalising document -- guaranteeing social security and the right to assemble, to strike and to conscientious objection. And, to the solace of the right, there are grave doubts that it will reflect the electoral mood of a country which has swung increasingly from left to right during the past 23 months of coups and counter-coups.

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    VLVA62OMGZZGMVSFE8CNS4QLMSAJD
    Media URN:
    VLVA62OMGZZGMVSFE8CNS4QLMSAJD
    Group:
    Reuters - Including Visnews
    Archive:
    Reuters
    Issue Date:
    03/04/1976
    Sound:
    Unknown
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Stock:
    Colour
    Duration:
    00:01:27:00
    Time in/Out:
    /
    Canister:
    N/A

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