Jerónimo de Sousa

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Jerónimo de Sousa
Jerónimo de Sousa.jpg
General Secretary of the Portuguese Communist Party
Incumbent
Assumed office
27 November 2004
Preceded by Carlos Carvalhas
Personal details
Born Jerónimo Carvalho de Sousa
(1947-04-13) 13 April 1947 (age 67)
Pirescoxe, Loures, Portugal
Political party Portuguese Communist Party (since 1974)
Occupation Politician
Profession Metallurgic worker

Jerónimo Carvalho de Sousa (Portuguese pronunciation: [ʒɨˈɾɔnimu dɨ ˈsozɐ]; born 13 April 1947) is a Portuguese politician who has been General Secretary of the Portuguese Communist Party since the 17th Congress of the Party in November 2004.[1]

He is a member of the Assembly of the Republic and was also a candidate in the 2006 presidential election.

Early life and leftist activity[edit]

Born at Pirescôxe (also known as Pirescouxe, Pirescoche, Piriscouxe and Pires Coche), located in Santa Iria de Azóia, Loures, Lisbon District, Jerónimo de Sousa was born into a humble working-class family in the Portugal of the late 1940s, dominated by the right-leaning regime of António de Oliveira Salazar.

At the age of fourteen, he followed the path of the most children of the many working-class families of the industrial belt of Lisbon, becoming a machine tuner in a siderurgy near his hometown, the MEC.

He started his anti-fascist activities soon after, while integrating the cultural working class associations of his hometown in the 1960s. In that period he made contact with the strong clandestine organization that the Portuguese Communist Party had in the suburbs of Lisbon, where he, being one of the few able to read, used to read the illegal communist newspaper, the Avante!, in secrecy, for the other workers. He would later formalize his membership, right after the Carnation Revolution, in 1974.

From 1969 to 1971, Jerónimo de Sousa participated in the Colonial War, against the liberation movements that were struggling in the Portuguese colonies in Africa. He served in Guinea-Bissau, forced to fight the Marxist movement of liberation, the PAIGC.

After the replacement of Salazar by Marcello Caetano in 1969, the regime made some slight democratic openings, one of them was the possibility of workers without any record of illegal political activity participate in the elections for the respective Unions. In 1973 he participated in the election for the leadership of the Lisbon Metallurgical Workers' Union, dominated by the collaborationists of the regime, a characteristic of the corporativist regime of Salazar. Being free of any political suspicion and after being chosen among the MEC workers to integrate the list to the Lisbon Union, he was able to participate in the election and his list, influenced in secrecy by the communists, won it. From April 1974 he was elected to the workers commission of MEC, a role he kept until 1995.

Activity after the Carnation Revolution of 1974[edit]

In the first democratic election in 48 years of country's history, that was meant to elect a parliament that would write a new democratic Constitution, Jerónimo de Sousa was elected as an MP. Entering the Assembly of the Republic for the first time, a curious thing happened: a worker at the Assembly called him "doctor", he answered he was not a doctor and the worker replied: "sorry engineer", expressing the weirdness associated with the presence of a factory worker in a chamber that was dominated for 48 years by the top figures of the regime.

He continued to be elected in the subsequent legislative elections, and only left parliament in 1993. In 2002, he returned after the legislative election of that year.

Meanwhile, Jerónimo was elected for the first time to the Central Committee of the PCP in 1979 and became a member of its Political Bureau in 1992.

He was the Party's candidate for the 1996 presidential election, but he left the race giving his support to the Socialist candidate, Jorge Sampaio.

In 2004, after the Party's 17th Congress, in November, Jerónimo de Sousa was elected General Secretary, replacing Carlos Carvalhas.

He was announced as the Party's candidate for 2006 presidential election, and also gathered the support of the Ecologist Party "The Greens".

Electoral results[edit]

1996 Portuguese presidential election[edit]

e • d Summary of the 14 January 1996 Portuguese presidential election results
Candidates Supporting parties First round
Votes %
Jorge Sampaio Socialist Party 3,035,056 53.91
Aníbal Cavaco Silva Social Democratic Party, People's Party 2,595,131 46.09
Jerónimo de Sousa[A] Portuguese Communist Party, Ecologist Party "The Greens" left the race
Alberto Matos[B] People's Democratic Union left the race
Total valid 5,630,187 100.00
Blank ballots 69,328 1.20
Invalid ballots 63,463 1.10
Total (turnout 66.29%) 5,762,978
A B Both candidates left the race in favor of Jorge Sampaio.
Source: Comissão Nacional de Eleições

2006 Portuguese presidential election[edit]

e • d Summary of the 22 January 2006 Portuguese presidential election results
Candidates Supporting parties First round
Votes %
Aníbal Cavaco Silva Social Democratic Party, People's Party 2,773,431 50.54
Manuel Alegre Independent 1,138,297 20.74
Mário Soares Socialist Party 785,355 14.31
Jerónimo de Sousa Portuguese Communist Party, Ecologist Party "The Greens" 474,083 8.64
Francisco Louçã Left Bloc 292,198 5.32
António Garcia Pereira PCTP/MRPP 23,983 0.44
Total valid 5,487,347 100.00
Blank ballots 59,636 1.07
Invalid ballots 43,149 0.77
Total (turnout 61.53%) 5,590,132
Source: Comissão Nacional de Eleições

References[edit]

  1. ^ RAPHAEL MINDER (May 13, 2010). "Like Spain, Portugal Hopes to Make Cuts, but It Is Mired in Structural Weakness". The New York Times: Global Business. Retrieved 2010-12-07. "In Portugal, smaller political parties also urged resistance. Jerónimo de Sousa, head of the Communist Party, said on Portuguese television that “people have to react with protest and struggle.”"