In Portugal, the Portuguese Communist Party (PCP) is the only one which does not use the secret ballot to elect its leaders, preferring instead a more open approach, which is the raising of the arm in a public and transparent session. First the main opposition party, the Social Democrats (PSD), presented a project to propose to the Portuguese parliament, whereby all political parties would be forced to adopt the secret ballot. Now the Portuguese Socialist Party (PS), in power, is planning to propose a law forcing the PCP to change its statutes and adopt the secret ballot, or else be declared illegal. This imposition on a democratic party such as the PCP, intrusion into its political affairs and modus operandi is nothing short of autocracy. The PCP has a stable electorate of 12 to 15% in Portugal but it is at the local council level where it has more projection, often in coalitions with other parties, such as the case in Lisbon, where a PCP/PS coalition run a dynamic and highly popular municipal council. This is just one example of the excellent work the PCP performs in councils all over Portugal. It is the only party which protects the Portuguese workers and despite its reduced number of members of Parliament, it produces more work in Parliament, in the form of projected laws, both in Lisbon and in Strasbourg, than any of the other main parties. It is this dynamic and energetic approach to politics which forces the other parties to throw political tantrums, such as this one, probably because they have nothing better to do. Maybe they should take a leaf out of the PCP’s book and start performing the roles they were elected to do... McCarthyism belongs to the annals of history.
Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey Lisbon
NATO's Boeing P-8 Poseidon was circling above the easternmost point of Romania at the time of the missile strike on the Black Sea Fleet headquarters in Sevastopol