PORTUGAL: Then There Was One

In April, after the death of 81-year-old President Antonio Carmona (he had held the office since 1926), Portugal's National Assembly quietly amended the constitution to give the council of state (composed of top government leaders) a veto over the "fitness for office" of any election candidate. This week Portugal held her first election under the new law to choose a successor to President Carmona. For the party in power, the law worked just fine.

There were three candidates. One was Ruy Gomes, professor of mathematics; the council ruled that he was "unfit"—reportedly because he was a fellow traveler—and...

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