Freitas do Amaral, Diogo

(1941- )
   Legal scholar and teacher, jurist, civil servant, and politician. Born in Povoa de Varzim, Freitas do Amaral's father became a member of parliament in the Estado Novo's National Assembly. A superb student, the young Freitas do Amaral studied law at the Law Faculty, University of Lisbon, and became the top law student and protégé of Professor Marcello Caetano, who in 1968 was selected to replace an ailing Antônio de Oliveira Salazar as prime minister. Freitas do Amaral received his doctorate in law in the late 1960s and remained close to his former law professor, who was now prime minister. In his scholarship on the history of Portuguese law, as well as in his political and social ideology as a conservative, Freitas do Amaral in many respects remained a student, protégé, and follower of Caetano through the period of Caetano's premiership (1968-74) and into the era of the Revolution of 25 April 1974. More than 20 years later, Freitas do Amaral published his memoirs, which focused on the 1968-74 political era, O Antigo Regime E A Revolução. Memórias Políticas (1941-75). This personal portrait of Caetano's tribulations as a sometimes reluctant, well-prepared but probably inappropriately selected national leader remains an invaluable primary source for historical reconstruction.
   During the early months after the Revolution of 25 April 1974, Freitas do Amaral entered politics and became a founder of the right-wing Christian Democratic Party (CDS). He served as the party's leader to 1985 and again from 1988 to 1991, and was a member of parliament, the Assembly of the Republic, from 1975 to 1983 and from 1992 to 1993. When the Democratic Alliance, of which the CDS was a part, won elections in 1979-80, Freitas do Amaral served as deputy prime minister and minister of defense and, when Francisco de Sá Carneiro died in a mysterious air crash, Freitas do Amaral briefly served as interim prime minister. He was a candidate for the presidency in the 1986 presidential election, although he lost to Mário Soares. In 1995, he served as President of the United Nations General Assembly. As a European federalist who disagreed with the CDS Euroskeptic line followed by Paulo Portas, Freitas do Amaral broke with his party and resigned from it. Although he was usually regarded as a right-winger, Freitas do Amaral backed the Social Democratic Party in the 2002 Assembly of the Republic elections. Disillusioned with the government's policies and critical of its endorsement of the U.S. invasion of Iraq in March 2003, Freitas do Amaral shifted his support to the Socialist Party in the 2005 election. The new prime minister José Sôcrates named Freitas do Amaral minister of foreign affairs in the XVII Constitutional Government, but the senior jurist and politician resigned after a year in office, for health reasons.
   After many years as a law professor at the New University of Lisbon, in 2007, Freitas do Amaral delivered a final public lecture and retired from academia. He is the author of a biography of King Afonso I, a play, and of various legal and juridical studies and is considered the most eminent living scholar in the fields of administrative and constitutional law.

Historical dictionary of Portugal 3rd ed.. . 2014.

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