Portugal's President Francisco Da Costa Gomes had talks at his Palace on Sunday (30 November) with party leaders ranging from the extreme left to the centre of Portuguese politics.
Portugal's President Francisco Da Costa Gomes had talks at his Palace on Sunday (30 November) with party leaders ranging from the extreme left to the centre of Portuguese politics. In the talks he emphasised the urgent need to safeguard public order in the country.
Some politicians in Lisbon suggest that the differences between the rival political groups could well have flared into civil was during last week's left-wing rebellion.
The President and his advisors told the political leaders that they must persuade their followers to surrender unlawfully-held arms and forego demonstrations for the next few days.
Leaders of the Government parties - the Socialists, the Centrist Popular Democrats (PPD), and the Communists - were also present at the talks, which were described as less an exchange of ideas than a series of "pointers" from the President.
Other points made by the President included a direction that clandestine radio transmitters should be handed over to the authorities, and that production in the country would have to be increased because of Portugal's serious economic crisis. Many people in the capital believe that the victory of the Conservative and moderate forces over last week's rebellion will be followed by an austere economic policy.
On Sunday evening thousands of people queued outside the Estrela Church in Lisbon for hours to pay their respects to two loyal commandos who were killed when capturing the Police barracks. The mother of one was led away by a medical attendant after shouting "I want my son back" at the top of her voice for several hours beside the coffin lying in the chapel. The bodies were to be taken to the commandos' home towns outside Lisbon for burial on Monday.
The Communist newspaper Avante has accused the PPD and the Socialist parties of leading the Government into an impasse through their right-wing policies. The Communist Party has emphasised that it had nothing to do with the rebellion, and has described accusations that the party was preparing a coup as "baseless".
Avante, which was published on Sunday for the first time since a state of siege was imposed on Lisbon five days before, accused extreme left-wing groups of "playing at insurrections and taking power."
The military authorities have formally denied that warrants were issued for the arrest of any civilian members of left-wing parties in connection with the uprising. However, about 90 military personnel have been held so far, including the best known supporters of General Vasco Goncalves, the pro-Communist ex-Premier. All of them are being held incommunicado in the Conservative northern city of Oporto. The Armed Forces High Command said on Sunday that twelve of them were threatening to stage a hunger-strike.
SYNOPSIS: The people of Portugal enjoyed what the authorities described as a "compulsory" holiday on Monday, as a purge continued of many formerly influential figures following last week's abortive revolt. The Lisbon military region was still under a partial state of siege with a nightly four-hour curfew. Security forces searched cars on the outskirts of Lisbon for illicit arms.
The day before, people had queued for hours outside the city's Estrela Church to pay their respects to two loyal commandos who were killed when capturing the police barracks in the final hours of the revolt. The bodies were to be taken north the following day to their home towns outside Lisbon. One of the mothers had to be removed by a medical attendant after shouting for several hours for her son to be returned.
Meanwhile, President Da Costa Gomes was having talks at the Belem Palace with leaders of political parties ranging from the centre to the extreme left.
In the conservative northern town of Oporto, about ninety left-wing military personnel were being held incommunicado following the uprising. They included the best-known supporters of General Vasco Goncalves, the pro-Communist ex - Premier. However, the military authorities were formally denying that any warrants had been issued for the arrest of any civilian members of left-wing parties.
In the talks at the Belem Palace, President Da Costa Gomes told the political leaders that their followers must surrender unlawfully-held arms, and forego demonstrations for the next few days. He emphasised the urgent need to increase production and safeguard public order.