The Portuguese Communist Party: Perestroika and its Aftermath
Until very recently the Portuguese Communist Party (PCP) appeared to be a bastion of communist orthodoxy modelled along Soviet lines. Indeed, as the only Western European communist party that had been a protagonist in a revolutionary struggle for power (1974–75) since the post-war recuperation of liberal democracy, the ideology and behaviour of the PCP still manifested characteristics that could fairly be labelled ‘Stalinist’. In the early 1980’s the PCP perceived itself as a revolutionary party and it conserved its unity through the effective operation of democratic centralism as it had been learned in the struggle against dictatorship. However, with the advent of glasnost and perestroika in the USSR, cracks became visible in the windows of the ‘party with glass walls’.1 Individual communist dissidents began to challenge the PCP’s enduring orthodoxy. With the overthrow of the East European ‘socialist’ regimes these fissures deepened and organised groups began to advocate the renovation of the party. The Portuguese Communist Party nevertheless disassociated itself from the crisis of communism and reaffirmed its Marxist-Leninist principles.
KeywordsCommunist Party Central Committee Socialist Party Socialist Regime Minority Government
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