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JUNTA CONSOLIDATES POWER
The sevon-man junta hoaded by General Antonio de Spinola. which assumed leadership in Portugal after the almost bloodless coup 'jst week, has already issued decrees designed todomestic liberties and consolidate its power. Political groups labor unions, and studentwhich had been quiescent under thegovernment, have become active. If the junta is willing to include representatives of both the left and right in the provisionalto bo established within twois able to persuide them to join, thisgur well for the stability o! the country over the near term.
General Spinola met earlier this week with representatives of various political parties that were illegal under the previous regime. Afor tho parties described the meeting as very cordial, but the moderates appeared to bo more satisfied than the far leftists. The leftists were disappointed that Spinola refused to consult with them on the formation of the government and that ho refused toommitment ondecolonization.
Political groups aro busily organizing, issuing manifestos, and co lecting funds. Socialist leader Mario Soares and Communist Party loader Alvaro Cunhal are playing prominent roles following their triumphant return from exile. Both parties have participated in the formationeftist coalition, tho Portuguese Democratic Movement, to sorveehicle for participation in the now government. T'.is would comply with Spinola's announcement that he favors broad coalitions
rather than many parties. The union mayhowever,
working to build nis own party's sticngth, and probablyetter chance than Communist leader Cunhal ofinisterial post in the provisional government.
In an attempt to reform the state-controlled universities, the junta has dismissed their rectors, Student associations previously closed down by the Caetano government arc reopening, and campus political activity appears to be on the rise.
The labor organizations that wero formed by the ousted regime are also undergoing changes. In Lisbon and Oporio, leaders foisted upon the organizations by the previous government are being fired and workers are electing new leaders.
In an effort to consolidate his power within the military Spinola has reinstated Generalda Costa Gomes,ember of 'he junta, in his previous job as chief of staff of the armed forces. Costa Gomes, who had approved the publication of Spinola's book.fired from his job in March, ostensibly for refusing toeremonial oath of allegiance to the old regime Three other junta members have taken over as chiefs of staff of tho air force, army, and navy. The junta has retiredenior officers, including two formor ministers and thehiefs of staff, therebyotential throat from senior officers who have remained faithful to the Caetano government.
impact in portuguese africa
The Spinola junta is being widely supported by the Portuguese power structures in aU three African territories. Civilian and military artmlnis-tiaiiun* jreun. on an interim basis, by the deputies to the governors general and the military commanders that ware relieved of theirshortly after the coup, "he transition has been largely without incident.
The idea of qreater autonomy foropular one, particularly in Angola and Mozambique, which have sizable whit* settler populations that have long wonted lessfrom (he mclropole. Politically, however.roblem stemming from the former government's refusal to allow local politi* cal organizations. Theegime will now have to permit the emergence of such organizations, broadly multi-racial In composition, if its now African policy is to have any meaning. One group in Mozambique that had been accepted by the Caetjno governmentultural organization has since the coup openly avowed political ambitions.
since the first of the year, markedlow but steady southward infiltration. Their militarycould be enough to press Lisbonialogue.
In Portuguese Guinw the military stalemate that doveloped convinced Spinola during his five years as governor general o* the futility ofilitary solution. The Africantor the Independence of Po'tuguese Guinsa and Cape Verde consistently has waged the strongestand political effort of all the Afrioinorganizations. Last September, the party proclaimed the "Republic ofhich is now recognized by morefrican, and other Third World countries as well as by the Organization of Afri;an Unity. The "republic'* has been granted observer status in the UN and intends to push 'or membership at the next UN General Assembly. Although the African party's territorial claims are inflated, it may be the first of the liberation movements to gain political concessions from Lisbon. |
The ouster of Caetano has been welcomed by Portuguese Africa's liberation movements and by theAfrican governments that have been supporting them through moreecade of insurgency. The guerrilla groups have rejected Spinola's federation concept, however, and have reiterated their demands tor completeFor the time being, they are likely toait-and-see attitude.
In deciding future poliry, Lisbon will have to take into account the quite different military and political situations that prevail in the three territories. In Angola, three rival insurgenteach with serious 'actional, recruiting, or logistic problems, have failed to gainj. inal territorial control. It seems unlikely thatwill be ready to negotiate with any of these (roups in the near future.
In Mozambique, the insurgents are unified, and thoir activity has beenodest upswing
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