Statement PCP Central Committee

Communiqué of the Central Committee Portuguese Communist Party

I

On the election results

1. The Central Committee of the PCP, in a first appreciation, underlines that the most relevant and decisive aspect of last Sunday’s election results is a great and severe defeat of the PSD-CDS coalition, a clear expression of the wide popular discontent with its governance and a clear condemnation of its policy.

In fact, not only the PSD-CDS coalition votes were well below those obtained by PSD and CDS put together in the 1999 EP elections but, above all, it lost 14 percentage points in comparison with the March 2002 legislative election results.

Nothing can wipe out an essential truth: in these elections the opposition parties as a whole obtained 60% of the votes against 34% of the parties in government. And the fact that the parties that today (mis) govern the country, even though in coalition, obtained the worst election result ever cannot remain without relevant political consequences.

Contrary to what the right tried to show on election night, the levels of abstention (undoubtedly very high, as in 1999) cannot lessen the political lesson to be drawn from its heavy electoral defeat and, by themselves, confirm and reflect the effects of a continued policy of the right and a “European construction” divorced from the citizens, leading an increasing number of voters to loose their electoral will and motivation.

2. The Central Committee valorises the electoral result obtained by the CDU, in spite of it being below what was necessary and fully justified by PCP’s incomparable role in the struggle against the government’s policy and in defence of the interests of the workers and the country in the European Parliament. Although the electoral campaign was mainly accompanied by a deliberate and prejudiced devaluation and spreading of very pessimistic electoral perspectives and confined to electing just one deputy, CDU having obtained 9.1% and elected 2 deputies (and very close to electing a third), attained a result which, although being 1.2% below that of 1999, represents an increase of more than 2% in relation to the 2002 legislative elections –it is positive and encouraging for the effort that, with confidence, trust and courage, has to be pursued for an electoral strengthening in the coming elections.

3. The Central Committee of the PCP greets all CDU activists who, with great generosity and sense of responsibility, carried out, sometimes in very adverse conditions, a confident and combative campaign and contributed in putting together a result which confirms the indispensable role of the PCP and of CDU in the construction and success of an alternative of the left, truly worthy of the name.

The Central Committee of the PCP reaffirms on this occasion that, all those who trusted the CDU, can rest absolutely assured, that we shall honour the pledges made during the campaign and give a new and invigorated thrust to the struggle and the task of giving an answer to the pressing problems and concerns facing the workers and the Portuguese people and to conquer a new course for Portugal and for Europe.

In a situation in which the electoral results around the European Union show a clear penalization of the parties in government (be they from the right or socialist and social-democrat) responsible for conducting neo-liberal policies, it is all the more unacceptable, in the coming days, to attempt to approve the project of the so-called “European Constitution”, a matter on which, like so many others, there is a deep convergence among PSD, CDS-PP and PS. On this issue, reaffirming its clear opposition to this project, the PCP will continue to firmly battle to have the Portuguese people consulted through a referendum, in clear and efficacious terms, on tying the country to this new step in a federalist escalation.

4. With an added reason after last Sunday’s electoral results, the PCP reaffirms as a crucial and legitimate democratic objective, the creation of political and institutional conditions to, as quickly as possible, put an end to the disastrous PSD and CDS-PP governance and to have the Portuguese express themselves for a new political solution effectively alternative to the clear failure and isolation of the present governing coalition.

Meanwhile, the PCP cannot help regretting and criticizing that, even after this historic defeat of the right, the PS insists on an attitude that, amid useless appeals for a voluntary change of policies by the government, in fact and to all effects, means that it does not mind and agrees that the government continue till 2006 its task of destruction and action causing so much harm to the country and many and profound aggressions against the living conditions and social rights of the Portuguese people.

The Central Committee of the PCP underlines, meanwhile, that this condemnable attitude by the PS, weighing negatively on the immediate possibilities of institutional solutions and decisions, corresponding to the aspiration shown in the elections, cannot lead to any abdication or disheartening in the just struggle, both at the political and social level, that has to be intensified courageously so that Portugal can rid itself, with the utmost urgency, from the PSD-CDS/PP government.

II

The situation in Iraq and the UN Security Council Resolution

1. The UN Security Council Resolution nº 1546, while trying to give cover to the US war and occupation of Iraq, constitutes and act of the utmost seriousness, with disturbing consequences on the evolution of the situation in the Middle East and around the world.

2. The PCP, which repeatedly warned against the danger of the UN Security Council n being yet again manipulated by the Bush administration, stresses that this solution clearly contradicts the UN Charter and can in no way legitimate a war of aggression against Iraq, as well as the presence of the GNR (Portuguese National Republican Guard) in that country.

3. The PCP denounces the announced “transfer of power” on June 30th as an unqualified farce. The so-called “interim government” forged by the occupation forces and led by a US puppet, known as a CIA collaborator, has no credibility among the Iraqi people. The real political and military power, including high level military and police operations to smash the resistance, continues in the hands of the occupation forces. It is true that in order to achieve its main objectives the US were forced to back down and negotiate compromise solutions without abandoning their leading position. Resolution 1546 thus constitutes a new blow on UN credibility, all the more serious because its special envoy to Iraq and its General Secretary, Kofi Annan, took part in the process as mere bystanders. In view of such a serious situation, of brazen instrumentalization by the US and other great powers, it is necessary to act in defence of the UN role, respecting its Charter and striving for its democratisation.

4. The Security Council Resolution constitutes a shameful abdication by the members of this organ. At a time when American imperialism was increasingly unmasked and isolated due to the growing resistance of the Iraqi people and the denouncement of the criminal practices by the occupation forces in Abu Ghraib and other prisons, it constitutes a “breath of oxygen” and an incentive for the pursuing of the policy of oppression and terrorist war, through which American imperialism proposes to dominate Iraq, the Middle East and the world.

5. The PCP appeals to the continuation of the anti-war struggle, the withdrawal of the occupation forces from Iraq, the immediate return of the GNR contingent. At the same time alerts to the dangerous militarist projects of the US and European imperialist powers which, in the name of a “transatlantic link”, means the strengthening of NATO’s involvement and the militarisation of the EU, pledges for the reshaping of the political map of the “Great Middle East”, the creation of intervention forces to act in Africa, besides the agreements to pursue and intensify the disastrous neo-liberal policies. In this aspect, the coming EU/US summits in Ireland and of NATO in Istanbul have a particular importance: it is necessary to strengthen the intervention and combat imperialist guidelines and decisions contrary to the values of freedom, peace and international cooperation. The PCP will not abdicate from confronting the Portuguese government with its responsibilities.

III

The continuation of the struggle And the Party tasks

1. The Central Committee draws the attention of the party organisations and all militants to the need of concentrating efforts on the major immediate tasks, namely the continuation of the mass struggles, the continuation of the guidelines for the organic strengthening of the Party, the preparation of the 17th Congress and the “Avante!” Festival.

2. The Central Committee stresses that the electoral defeat of the right opens new perspectives to pursue and intensify the mass struggle against the right-wing policies, to impose a reversal of the government’s policy, achieve the fulfilment of the workers and popular masses demands and lead, as quickly as possible, to its defeat and substitution.

3. As a new trial of women from Setúbal, charged with the practice of illicit abortion, is taking place, the Central Committee of the PCP expresses its solidarity to these women, while reaffirming its active engagement in putting an end to the legal prosecution of women and illicit abortion through the approval, in the National Assembly, of a law that grants women the right to a willing and responsible motherhood and allows abortion during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, on request in an official or officially recognized health establishment.

4. The Central Committee sets as a primary task of all Party organisations the implementation of the guidelines decided for the organic strengthening, with particular emphasis on the campaign of contacts with the Party members ,to update information on Party members, on a national action of contacts with the militants between June 21st and July 4th and on the indispensable attaining of the objectives set for the National Fund Raising Campaign, designed to meet the costs of the European Parliament elections. The dynamisation and intensification of the preparatory work of the 17th Congress, for whose success the individual and collective reflection of the militants on the major problems affecting the Party, the country and the world is indispensable, and should be included in the Party’s regular activity.

5. In order to ensure the success, of the ”Avante!” Festival, to be held on September 3rd, 4th and 5th, the Central Committee appeals to the engagement of the Party organisations in its preparation.

6. Articulating the general active political intervention of the Party with the social mass struggle and the measures for the organic strengthening of the Party, the PCP will affirm itself as indispensable for the defeat of the right-wing policy, and the resolution of the main problems of our people and country.

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