Socialist parties, in their final week of campaigning before Portugal's general elections on Friday, attracted an estimated 100,000 supporters to Lisbon last weekend.
GV Large chanting and banner-waving crowd (2 shots)
GV Soares and other leaders waving to crowd as crowd chants (3 shots)
GV PAN ZOOM OUT TO SV Chanting and waving crowd (2 shots)
SV AND GV PAN Sailors beating drums in huge crowd (2 shots)
GV ZOOM IN Entrance to Campo Pequeno bull-ring
GV PAN Crowded balconies inside bull-ring as leader speaks to rally (2 shots)
SV ZOOM OUT Officials on rostrum and crowd applaud
Initials BJB/1505 BJB/1540
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Background: Socialist parties, in their final week of campaigning before Portugal's general elections on Friday, attracted an estimated 100,000 supporters to Lisbon last weekend.
It was part of a left wing "Festival of Unity" organized by the Socialists. Party Secretary-General Mario Soares addressed one of the main rallies in a Lisbon sports stadium.
There he declared that his party was the true ally of the Armed Forces movement -- a reply to accusations by some leftist officers, who now hold supreme power, that he is too right-wing.
One of the biggest rallies was staged by the Portuguese Democratic Movement (MDP), sister organisation of the communists, which drew 20,000 people to a meeting in Lisbon bull ring on Sunday (April 20).
The armed forces have already pressed the major parties into signing a pact which guarantees military control over the government for the next three to five years, a move that has introduced a false note into much of the campaigning.
But the parties, in their first election contest after 48 years of dictatorship, have demonstrated their ability to mobilise their support from the masses.
However, they've also demonstrated that an atmosphere of political violence still hangs over the country. On Sunday night troops fired over the heads of demonstrators trying to break up a rightist Centre Democrat meeting. Twenty-three people were injured on this occasion -- and violence claimed another seven injury victims when the same party tried to hold a meeting in Braga on Monday.