Thousands of left-wing demonstrators gathered at The Belem Presidential Palace in Lisbon on Thursday (20 November) to protest the Government's decision to suspend its activities.
GTV PAN Crowds march with banners (2 shots)
TV Demonstrators in truck
SV Demonstrators chant and wave arms (2 shots)
GTV Demonstrators chanting
SV Cunhal arrives
SV Demonstrators chant and wave hands
SV Cunhal enters car and leaves
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Background: Thousands of left-wing demonstrators gathered at The Belem Presidential Palace in Lisbon on Thursday (20 November) to protest the Government's decision to suspend its activities.
Earlier in the day, the Government, headed by Prime Minister Admiral Jose Pinheiro de Azevedo, said it would stop functioning until President Francisco da Costa Gomes gave it a guarantee of military support.
The move is seen as a means of forcing the military to shuffle its commands to curb left-wing agitation which climaxed in a 36-hour siege of the Prime Minister's office last week.
The communist Party, which holds one portfolio in the Government, organised the rally and called on the Government to resign.
President Costa Gomes returned from a meeting elsewhere to address the rally later in the evening. He told the crowd that civil war was not a suitable means to resolve the crisis, calling instead for a period of tranquillity during which time the country could "remould its administration and social system".
The latest crisis in Portugal caused Communist Party chief Dr. Alvaro Cunhal to cut short his visit to Eastern Europe and return to Portugal, where he was greeted by thousands of supporters on Friday (21 November).
During his visit to Hungary, Dr. Cunhal said his party would not attempt to seize power by force.