Portas, Paulo

(1951- )
   Politician and chief of a rightist political party, the Popular Party (PP; formerly the CDS or Christian Democrat Party). Like so many others in Portuguese political life, Portas was trained as a lawyer at the University of Lisbon Law Faculty. Before he was elected to the Assembly of the Republic, Portas was editor of the Lisbon newspaper, Público. In the 1990s, he assumed leadership of the PP. In the October 1999 general parliamentary elections, the PP won all but 15 seats (behind the Portuguese Communist Party [PCP] with 17), but there were soundings regarding a potential alliance between the stronger Social Democratic Party (PSD), with 81 seats, and the PP, to challenge the Socialist Party (PS)-led government of Antônio de Guterres. Portas is a charismatic, populist speaker who campaigns most typically by means of mixing with the people (o povo) in informal settings such as markets.
   In the March 2002 parliamentary elections, Portas's PP surpassed the PCP in the vote, receiving 14 percent to the PCP's 12 percent, and entered a governing coalition with the dominant PSD. Portas proved himself the most dynamic of campaigners among the three main party political leaders.
   See also Political parties.

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

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