Portuguese Communist Party leader, Alvaro Cunhal, said on Wednesday (5 May) that the Socialist party could not expect support for its policies if it formed a minority government.
GV AND LV INT Crowd assembled waving banners. (2 shots)
SV Cunhal on platform leading chanting.
CU Cunhal speaking, other party members applaud, Cunhal continues. (3 shots)
LV AND GV Cunhal on platform beneath party banner.(2 shots)
Initials VS 15.40 VS 15.50
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Background: Portuguese Communist Party leader, Alvaro Cunhal, said on Wednesday (5 May) that the Socialist party could not expect support for its policies if it formed a minority government. Dr. Cunhal was speaking at a rally attended by several thousand of his supporters in the Lisbon bull ring.
He condemned the Socialists as undemocratic for declaring that they intend to govern on their own after gaining only 35 per cent of the vote in last month's parliamentary election.
The Communists - who received 14.5 per cent of the vote - want to join the Socialists in a formal coalition to be formed after next mo nth's Presidential election.
A minority government would automatically fall if its policy programme were rejected, which would happen if the opposition parties - including the liberal Popular Democrats (PPD) and the conservative Centre Democrats (CDS) - joined forces to vote against it.
Dr. Cunhal called for talks between his party and the Socialists to reach a common platform. He said that such a joint policy should include further agrarian reform and a consolidation of past nationalisation and "workers' management measures".
The new President of Portugal, to be elected in June, will appoint the next Prime Minister, who will form an administration. This will replace the Council of the Revolution and its civilian appointees who have been in charge of the country since the 1974 coup.