- Title: PORTUGAL: PRESIDENT JORGE SAMPAIO WINS A SECOND TERM IN OFFICE
- Date: 16th January 2001
- Summary: LISBON, PORTUGAL (JANUARY 14, 2001)(REUTERS) 1. SOUNDBITE (Portuguese) JORGE SAMPAIO, PORTUGAL'S RETURNING PRESIDENT: "By the free will expressed by the Portuguese people I was re-elected President of the Republic for five years." 0.24 2. MV MEDIA 0.26 3. SOUNDBITE (Portuguese) JORGE SAMPAIO "Cheers to Portugal" ZOOM OUT SLV PRESS CONFERENCE (2 SHOTS) 0.45 4. SLV FESTIVITIES OUTSIDE SOCIALIST PARTY HEADQUARTERS (5 SHOTS) 1.22 5. SCU SAMPAIO WITH WIFE AND CHILDREN ON BALCONY WAVING TO SUPPORTERS; SLV SAMPAIO SUPPORTERS CELEBRATING IN STREETS (2 SHOTS) 1.47 Initials Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
- Embargoed: 31st January 2001 12:00
- Location: LISBON, PORTUGAL
- Country: Portugal
- Reuters ID: LVA2NKTLBIUPRCB43IJ4MIYTM7TU
- Story Text: Portugal's President Jorge Sampaio, who won a second
five-year term in Sunday's (January 14) election, has earned
the nickname of "the gentleman" by turning affability into a
potent political weapon.
The 61-year-old former leader of the Socialist Party
took some 56 percent of the vote, comfortably more than the 50
percent needed to avoid a second-round run-off with his
nearest rival, conservative candidate Joaquim Ferreira do
Amaral. Antonio Abreu, the Communist candidate trailed third
with around 5 percent of the vote.
Although lacking the charisma of his presidential
predecessor and former socialist prime minister Mario Soares,
Sampaio has enjoyed consistently high ratings in the polls
since he became head of state in 1996.
Seeking to capitalise on this wide appeal, the former
leftist made a clear pitch for the political centre ground
with his campaign slogan "For All of Us". The Portuguese
presidency is largely ceremonial, although the president can
mediate in political crises and is commander-in-chief of the
Sampaio has carried on Soares' tradition of travelling
regularly around the country to keep the presidency in the
public eye and listen to the grievances of the man in the
But he has wisely made no attempt to imitate the regal
manner of "King" Soares, whose popularity was such that the
conservative opposition did not even field a candidate against
him when he was re-elected in 1991.
In first winning the presidency five years ago, Sampaio
beat off a determined challenge from conservative former
premier Anibal Cavaco Silva, who had just stood down as head
of government after a decade in power.
For Sampaio, a trained lawyer, his win was particularly
sweet as he was Socialist Party leader when Cavaco's Social
Democrats won a sweeping victory in parliamentary elections in
1991 -- a setback that led to the party dumping him as chief.
This time round, the presidential election lacked the
spice of direct personal rivalry.
Even Ferreira do Amaral, who took some 35 percent of the
vote, had difficulty in maintaining a pretence that he could
defy both the opinion polls and history.
Portuguese presidents have always been re-elected to a
second and final five-year term since the country returned to
democracy after the 1974 revolution.
The other presidential three candidates in the field, all
from the far-left, took some nine percent.
Sampaio was active in the clandestine left-wing opposition
to the Salazar dictatorship in the 1960s and early 1970s. In
1960 he was briefly arrested by Salazar's secret police.
Jorge Fernando Branco de Sampaio was born into a middle
class family in Lisbon on September 18, 1939. He has two
children by his second wife Maria Jose Rita.
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