Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa
Marcelo Nuno Duarte Rebelo de Sousa, ComSE, GCIH (born 12 December 1948 in Lisbon, São Sebastião da Pedreira) is a Portuguese politician and former Minister and Member of Parliament, law professor, former journalist, political analyst and pundit.
He entered then Popular Democratic Party, becoming a Deputy to the Assembly of the Republic. Later he rose to Adjoint Minister of Prime Minister Francisco Pinto Balsemão. Together with him he was a Co-Founder, Director and Administrator of Expresso newspaper, owned by Pinto Balsemão. He was also the Founder of Sedes and the Founder and President of the Administration Council of another newspaper, Semanário. He started as a political analyst and pundit on the radio in TSF with his Exams, in which he gave notes (0 to 20) to the main political agents.
In 1989 he ran for Mayor of the Municipal Chamber of Lisbon (Mayor of Lisbon) but lost for Jorge Sampaio, winning however a seat as City Councilor (Vereador). In that campaign he took a plunge into the waters of the Tagus River to prove they were not polluted despite the claims in contrary.
He was leader of the Social Democratic Party, from 31 March 1996 to 27 May 1999 (some weeks before his election as party leader, he declared he wouldn't be a leadership candidate not even if Christ came down to Earth). He created a center-right coalition, called Força Portugal, with the People's Party in 1998, which had a disappointing result on the 1999 elections for the European Parliament. He became, however, the Vice-President of the European People's Party–European Democrats. The coalition didn't please large parts of its own party, due to the role the People's Party leader, Paulo Portas, had in undermining Cavaco Silva's government while director of the weekly O Independente. Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa resigned after Portas, in a TV interview, described a private talk they had concerning this matter. Paulo Portas claimed Marcelo, as an anonymous source for O Independente, described in great detail a dinner where he wasn't present, down to the menu (which included vichyssoise); when later Paulo Portas as a revenge went back on the decision of the coalition established between both their parties, decision which was made before that dinner, the term vichyssoise - a cold soup - became a reference to that "revenge served cold". For these and other incoherencies he was called by Manuel Maria Carrilho political gelatin. A speech condemning the posture of the Portuguese in their expectance of a Messiah and a Dom Sebastião was not well taken. The failure of the coalition led to his Public and televised demission.
He has a weekly program of political analysis every Sunday at public TV station RTP after previously having a similar program on the private TV station TVI, where he was announced as being the wisest and most perspicacious political analyst of current times. One of his main trademarks is that he usually says Bom! (meaning Well! / Good!) at the end of sentences on his TV political analysis. His comments are transversal, from politics to sports, including his famous presentations and comments on the newest published books, and sometimes controversial, some of the comments being seen as personal and political attacks.
In his analysis, still in TVI, he often attacked Pedro Santana Lopes, accusing him of being truculent, cudgeller and resented, and not having the profile to be a President of the Republic. This animosity remained until after he became Prime-Minister, with a particular commentary on his performance finishing with the statement that he was worse than the worse Guterres and that he was making Guterres look better and pushing them to Belém leading to an answer from Santana Lopes' Government Speaker Rui Gomes da Silva, who accused him of an involuntary cabal. The then President of the network, Miguel Pais do Amaral, asked on a private dinner Marcelo to be more moderate in his attacks, something that he took as a form of censorship, leading to his exit of the program and the channel. It was after that episode that we was hired by RTP. Partially in consequence of these events, President Jorge Sampaio dissolved the Assembly of the Republic, with that also dismissing the Government, at a time when it had a stable coalition majority, calling up for antecipated elections, that lead to the defeat of Santana Lopes and the election of José Sócrates, more popular at the time and the Secretary-General of the Party the President always belonged.
A leading figure in the pro-criminalization side of the Portuguese abortion referendum, 2007, Marcelo launched a YouTube video explaining his reasons. The video rose to prominence after having been merciless mocked by Gato Fedorento, whose program is ironically shown after Marcelo's at RTP every Sunday. Gato Fedorento, who played in RTP's 50th anniversary party, also made fun of him there. These attacks were due to some contradictions between his actual position and his legal standing on the issue.
He was granted the degree of Commander of the Order of Saint James of the Sword and the Grand Cross of the Order of Prince Henry (Ordem do Infante Dom Henrique).
He married in Évora, São Bento do Mato, on 27 July 1972 and later divorced Ana Cristina da Gama Caeiro da Mota Veiga, born in Lisbon, Santos o Velho, on 4 June 1950, daughter of António da Mota Veiga and wife Maria Emília da Gama Caeiro and current widow without issue of Jorge Manuel Vassalo Sors Lagrifa (7 May 1948 - 2 February 2005), maternal grandson of Manuel António Vassalo e Silva, by whom he has two children:
- Nuno da Mota Veiga Rebelo de Sousa (b. Lisbon, São Sebastião da Pedreira, 8 August 1973), a Licentiate in Economics from the Catholic University of Portugal in Lisbon, MBA in General Management from INSEAD in Fontainebleau, married in Cascais, Santo António do Estoril, on 4 September 1999 to Dona Maria Rita Megre de Sousa Coutinho (b. Lisbon, São Domingos de Benfica, 16 May 1974), a Licentiate in Management from the Catholic University of Portugal in Lisbon, MBA in General Management from INSEAD in Fontainebleau, daughter of Don Francisco de Sousa Coutinho (b. Lisbon, São Sebastião da Pedreira, 13 March 1942), Company Manager, of the Marquesses (formerly Counts) do Funchal, of the Counts de Linhares also Marquesses (formerly Viscounts) de Maceió in Brazil, and of the Counts de Redondo Lords de Gouveia, a remote descendant of Antipope Felix V and Pope Innocent VIII and niece of Pope Leo X, and wife (m. Lisbon, 12 July 1973) Isabel Maria Osório de Antas Megre (b. Lisbon, São Sebastião da Pedreira, 12 December 1946), a Licentiate in Economic and Financial Sciences from the Instituto Superior de Economia e Gestão, Company Administrator, and had issue:
- Sofia da Mota Veiga Rebelo de Sousa (b. Lisbon, São Sebastião da Pedreira, 27 September 1976)
- Costados Alentejanos, II, António Luís de Torres Cordovil Pestana de Vasconcelos, Edição do Autor, Évora 2006, N.º 41