Diogo Freitas do Amaral

Diogo Pinto de Freitas do Amaral (Portuguese pronunciation: [diˈoɣu ˈfɾɐjtɐʒ ðu ɐmɐˈɾal]; 21 July 1941 – 3 October 2019), known as Freitas do Amaral, was a Portuguese politician and law professor. He was Minister of Foreign Affairs from 10 January 1980 to 12 January 1981 and from 12 March 2005 to 3 July 2006. He also served briefly as Prime Minister in an interim capacity in the early 1980s.

Diogo de Freitas do Amaral

Freitas do Amaral in 2005
Minister of Foreign Affairs
In office
12 March 2005  3 July 2006
Prime MinisterJosé Sócrates
Preceded byAntónio Monteiro
Succeeded byLuís Amado
In office
10 January 1980  12 January 1981
Prime MinisterFrancisco de Sá Carneiro
Preceded byJoão Cardoso
Succeeded byAndré Gonçalves Pereira
Leader of the CDS – People's Party
In office
31 January 1988  22 March 1992
Preceded byAdriano Moreira
Succeeded byManuel Monteiro
In office
19 July 1974  20 February 1983
Preceded byPosition established
Succeeded byFrancisco Lucas Pires
Vice Prime Minister of Portugal
In office
4 September 1981  9 June 1983
Prime MinisterFrancisco Pinto Balsemão
Preceded byPosition vacant
Succeeded byCarlos Mota Pinto
In office
3 January 1980  9 January 1981
Prime MinisterFrancisco de Sá Carneiro
Preceded byManuel Jacinto Nunes
Succeeded byPosition vacant
Minister of National Defence
In office
4 September 1981  9 June 1983
Prime MinisterFrancisco Pinto Balsemão
Preceded byLuís de Azevedo Coutinho
Succeeded byCarlos Mota Pinto
Prime Minister of Portugal
In office
4 December 1980  9 January 1981
PresidentAntónio Ramalho Eanes
DeputyFrancisco Pinto Balsemão
Preceded byFrancisco de Sá Carneiro
Succeeded byFrancisco Pinto Balsemão
Personal details
Born(1941-07-21)21 July 1941
Póvoa de Varzim, Portugal
Died3 October 2019(2019-10-03) (aged 78)
Cascais, Portugal
Political partyIndependent
Other political
Democratic and Social Centre - People's Party
Spouse(s)Maria José Salgado Sarmento de Matos


He was born in Póvoa de Varzim, Portugal, the third but first surviving son of Duarte de Freitas do Amaral and wife Maria Filomena de Campos Trocado, and the older brother of João de Freitas do Amaral.


He was a Licentiate and a Doctorate in Law specialised in Administrative Law and Political Science from the Faculty of Law of the University of Lisbon, and a Cathedratic Professor in the Faculty of Law at the New University of Lisbon and also a publicist.

He served as a professor in the Faculty of Law of the Lusófona University of Lisbon, where he taught and governed as the chair of the Economics of Public Law in Law degree, developing other teaching activities in the same college.

In 1974, some months after the Carnation Revolution, he was one of the Founders and President of then Democratic and Social Centre (CDS), a Christian democratic party. He led this party till 1985, and again from 1988 to 1991. He served as a Deputy to the Assembly of the Republic (the Portuguese parliament) from 1975 to 1982 or 1983, and again in 1992 and 1993.

He was also a Member of the Portuguese Council of State (1974–1982).

In the parliamentary elections of 1979 and 1980, the Democratic Alliance (of which the CDS was a part) won a majority and formed the government, in which Freitas served as Deputy Prime Minister or Vice-Prime-Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs in 1980 and Deputy Prime Minister or Vice-Prime-Minister and Minister of Defence between 1981 and 1983. After the death of Francisco Sá Carneiro, Freitas do Amaral was interim Prime Minister for a short period between 1980 and 1981. Between 1981 and 1982 he was also the President of the European People's Party.

He was a candidate in 1985 for the presidency in the 1986 presidential election. Supported by his own People's Party and by the Social Democratic Party, he established a commanding lead in the first round, but lost the second round by some 150,000 votes to Mário Soares, who was endorsed by the two eliminated candidates.

He was President of the United Nations General Assembly (1995–1996).

A European federalist, he left the party he founded, disagreeing mainly with the Eurosceptic line followed by Manuel Monteiro and Paulo Portas.

Always seen as a right-winger, Freitas do Amaral supported the Social Democratic Party in the parliamentary election of 2002. However, disappointed with the government performance, and critical of its support for the U.S. invasion of Iraq, Freitas do Amaral surprised many observers by announcing his support for the Socialist Party in the 2005 election. He was subsequently nominated for Minister of State and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the XVII Constitutional Government, led by the Socialist leader José Sócrates. He resigned after a little over one year in office, citing health reasons and, as revealed to a newspaper, tiredness resulting from the many diplomatic trips taken.

He was also a Juridical Consultant of many companies.

He authored a biography of King Afonso I and a play about Viriatus.

He also published a study of the actuality and reform of the prison system in Portugal.


Personal life

He married in Sintra, Santa Maria, on 31 July 1965 Maria José Salgado Sarmento de Matos, born in Lisbon on 13 October 1943, writer under the pseudonym Maria Roma, daughter of José Sarmento Osório de Vasconcelos de Matos (Moimenta da Beira, 28 July 1909 – Sintra, 17 July 1992). They had four children.

In September 2019, Freitas do Amaral was hospitalized in critical condition at a Cascais hospital.[2] On 3 October 2019, it was announced that Freitas do Amaral had died.[3]

Electoral results

1986 Portuguese presidential election

Summary of the 26 January and 16 February 1986 Portuguese presidential election results
Candidates Supporting parties First round Second round
Votes % Votes %
Mário Soares Socialist Party 1,443,683 25.43 3,010,756 51.18
Diogo Freitas do Amaral Democratic and Social Centre, Social Democratic Party 2,629,597 46.31 2,872,064 48.82
Francisco Salgado Zenha Portuguese Communist Party, Democratic Renovator Party 1,185,867 20.88  
Maria de Lourdes Pintasilgo Independent 418,961 7.38
Ângelo Veloso[A] Portuguese Communist Party left the race
Total valid 5,677,525 100.00 5,882,820 100.00
Blank ballots 46,334 0.81 33,844 0.57
Invalid ballots 18,292 0.32 20,436 0.34
Total (turnout 75.38% and 77.99%) 5,742,151 5,937,100
A He left the race in favor of Salgado Zenha.
Source: Comissão Nacional de Eleições



  • D. Afonso Henriques biografia. Lisboa: Bertrand, 2009
  • Camarate: um caso ainda em aberto : apelo de um cidadão. Lisboa: Bertrand, 2010. ISBN 9789722522434


  1. "Cidadãos Nacionais Agraciados com Ordens". Página Oficial das Ordens Honoríficas Portuguesas. Retrieved 28 January 2017.
  2. "Freitas do Amaral internado nos cuidados intermédios". Publico.pt. 17 September 2019. Retrieved 3 October 2019.
  3. Hatton, Barry (3 October 2019). "Freitas do Amaral, a 'father' of Portuguese democracy, dies". Associated Press. Retrieved 3 October 2019.
  • Anuário da Nobreza de Portugal, III, 2006, Tomo IV, pp. 862–873
  • Costados, Gonçalo de Mesquita da Silveira de Vasconcelos e Sousa, Livraria Esquina, 1.ª Edição, Porto, 1997, N.º 55
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Amara Essy
President of the United Nations General Assembly
15 September 1995 – 14 September 1996
Succeeded by
Razali Ismail
Political offices
Preceded by
João Carlos Lopes Cardoso
Minister of Foreign Affairs
Succeeded by
André Gonçalves Pereira
Preceded by
Francisco Sá Carneiro
Acting Prime Minister of Portugal
Succeeded by
Francisco Pinto Balsemão
Preceded by
António Monteiro
Minister of Foreign Affairs
Succeeded by
Luís Amado