Monarchists gain ground as President’s image is tarnished in

Recent intrigues and partisan frosty relations between the Prime Minister José Sócrates and the President of the Republic, Áníbal Cavaco Silva, had an unexpected spin-off for the Monarchists.

Despite the Monarchist Party, led by Fado singer and pretender to the throne, Nuno da Câmara Pereira, only netting around one per cent of the national vote in the General Elections nearly two weeks ago, more people seem to warm to the idea of having a constitutional figurehead, such as a king, as head of state.

In the early hours of Monday morning, a group of Monarchists, led by former Millennium bcp bank chief Paulo Teixeira Pinto, who is President of the Causa Real (Royal Cause), hoisted the white and blue royal flag in Lisbon’s Praça de Luís de Camões, where they have their headquarters.

The Royal Cause hoped to generate controversy over a banning order imposed by Lisbon Câmara not to fly the flag as well as marking Republic Day celebrated nationwide on Monday.

The group says it is very critical of the expenses being paid to celebrate next year’s centenary of the Proclamation of the Portuguese Republic on October 5, 1910 and also argues that the country needs a constitutional royal figurehead that is above Portugal’s dirty party politics and points to the success of reasonably inexpensive bicycle monarchies in Norway, Sweden, Holland and Spain.

“We want to celebrate Portugal’s future because we believe the Republic is an interlude. We aim to show that we have vitality and youth,” said Paulo Teixeira Pinto.

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