Sá Carneiro, Francisco Lumbralles

(1934-1980)
   Important political leader in the early years of post-1974 Portugal. Trained and educated as a lawyer at the University of Lisbon Law School, he was an up-and-coming young lawyer and liberal Catholic activist in the 1960s. A practicing lawyer in Oporto, Sá Carneiro was selected to be one of a number of younger deputies in the National Assembly during the brief "opening" phase of Prime Minister Marcello Caetano's period of the Estado Novo. He became a deputy upon consenting to adhere to two conditions for his selection; namely, maintaining Portugal's colonial policy in Africa and advocating "social peace" through reforms. But he refused to join the regime's official movement, the União Nacional. Soon discouraged by the continued intransigence of the conservative forces still controlling regime policy, despite the efforts of Caetano during 1968-70, Sá Carneiro and several others of the recently appointed deputies resigned their posts and went into opposition.
   Following the Revolution of 25 April 1974, Sá Carneiro and colleagues founded the Social Democrat Party (PSD). The highly respected lawyer and spokesman for centrist views became fully involved in the unstable politics of the early Revolutionary period. Named prime minister in January 1980, Sá Carneiro became the political man of the hour in Portugal. The PSD under Sá Carneiro leadership formed the core of a right of center electoral coalition named the Democratic Alliance (AD), which was composed of the PSD, Christian Democratic Party (CDS), and PPM during the
   December 1979 interim parliamentary elections. The AD won the election and Sá Carneiro became prime minister. The regular October 1980 legislative elections, which the AD won, reaffirmed the AD's strength as a coalition. Anxious to consolidate political power by having a president who favored AD policies in office and eager to have the AD candidate, General Soares Carneiro, defeat the incumbent, President Ramalho Eanes, Sá Carneiro undertook a vigorous campaign in the presidential elections set for 7 December 1980. On 4 December, bound for Oporto campaign stops, Sá Carneiro's plane crashed and burned only a short distance from the Lisbon airport. Seven official investigations of the crash have not reached definitive conclusions, and the cause of the crash remains a mystery.
   See also Political parties.

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

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