• Short Summary

    In Portugal, the political crisis caused by Prime Minister Carlos Mota Pinto's resignation continues ...?

  • Description

    GV INT Officials seated on platform for seventh annual congress of Social Democrat party in Portugal

    CU PAN Party officials on platform and delegates seated in hall listening while procedures are explained (3 shots)

    SV Delegates rising and applauding as party president Francisco Sa Carneiro walks to platform to speak

    CU Delegates chanting 'PSD'

    SV ZOOM INTO CU Signor Sa Carneiro speaking in Portuguese and delegates applauding (2 shots)

    Dr. Pinto's six-month-old non-party cabinet resigned during the first week of June but has agreed to stay on in a caretaking capacity until the crisis is resolved. Portugal's largest party, the Socialists, oppose early elections but have not yet announced precise proposals to solve the problem. Dr. Sousa Franco's Social Democrat dissidents want business tycoon Mr. Nobre da Costa to become Portugal's next Prime Minister -- a post he held for 17 days last November until parliament rejected his programme. But Mr. da Costa has said he would not accept the Premiership if it were offered. Dr. Sousa Franco has listed five tough conditions for backing a new government -- including freezing bills for a free national health service and toning down controversial land reforms. Political observers say these conditions seem to kill any chance of a deal between the dissidents and the Socialists.

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    Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved

    Background: In Portugal, the political crisis caused by Prime Minister Carlos Mota Pinto's resignation continues ... and the Social Democrat Party (PSD) has again called for early general elections as the only solution.

    SYNOPSIS: The Social Democrats renewed their call for an October election at the weekend (16 and 17 June) during their seventh party congress, held in a Lisbon cinema. They now hold only 36 seats in parliament after a major party split in which 37 other members became independents, led by economics professor Antonio Sousa Franco. The depleted PSD wants parliament dissolved and is backed by the Conservative Centre Democrats (CDS) who hold 41 seats.

    The Congress re-elected Oporto lawyer Francisco Sa Carneiro as president by 577 votes from the 612 delegates. He was the only candidate.

    While expressing confidence in their own party president, the party was critical of the national president, Antonio Ramalho Eanes, whom they chided for lack of leadership. But the congress left a decision on whether to support his candidature for the 1981 presidential elections to the party's national council.

    Political commentators suggested General Eanes was waiting to see the outcome of Dr. Sa Carneiro's party congress before making his next move. One possibility reportedly under consideration is the formation of a new government under an independent Premier, with the majority support of the Socialists and Dr. Sousa Franco's Social Democrat dissidents -- leaving the PSD in opposition.

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