More than 3,000 people attended a rally called by Portugal's Popular Democrat Party (P.P.D.) in?
More than 3,000 people attended a rally called by Portugal's Popular Democrat Party (P.P.D.) in the town of Leiria, 80 kilometres (50 miles) north of Lisbon, on Monday (21 July) in a further attack on the country's military leaders and the growing strength of the Portuguese Communist Party in government.
The protest came after a wave of weekend attacks on Communist party offices in the town and in other areas of the traditionally-conservative north of Portugal. It followed a massive Socialist demonstration in Lisbon...described by Socialist Party leader, Dr. Mario Soares as the biggest in Portuguese history.
The centre-left P.P.D. -- the second largest party in the Constituent Assembly -- has joined the Socialists in attacking the present government structure, and condemning Portuguese Prime Minister, General Vasco Goncalves.
As demonstrators chanted "The people are not with the Armed Forces Movement", local P.P.D. officials in Leiria told the crowd that the Constituent Assembly was being shorn of its prestige and called for an and to all kinds of dictatorship.
Prime Minister Goncalves' attempts to form a new government -- the fifth since last year's bloodless coup -- were set back on Tuesday (22 July) when three present ministers -- all non-partisan members -- announced that they would not serve in his proposed administration. An ultimatum from the country's ruling Supreme Revolutionary Council has given General Goncalves until Thursday (24 July) to form his government.
Synopsis: The Portuguese town of Leiria, some eighty kilometres north of Lisbon...???where, on Monday, more than three thousand people attended a rally organised by the country' Popular Democrats Party against the present structure of government.
Leiria was the scene of several weekend attacks against Communist offices in a wave of protest throughout the conservative north against the growing strength of the Communists in government. The Popular Democrats have joined with the Socialists in condemning Prime Minister, General Vasco Goncalves.
Local party officials told the crowd that the Constituent Assembly -- elected in April -- was already being shorn of its prestige.
In reply, the demonstrators chanted "Down with dictatorship" and "The people are not with the Armed Forces Movement" ... the ruling power in Portugal since last year's coup.
The centre-left Popular Democrats form the second-largest group in the Constituent Assembly. In past weeks, they've taken on an increasingly left-wing aspect. Their anti-government protests come at a crisis point for Portugal's rulers.