BECAUSE: 2005 The Socialists gained their first absolute majority in parliament since democracy returned to Portugal in 1974. And these Casa Pia paedophile politicians were just Socialists.
In 2002, center-right Social Democrat leader José Manuel Durão Barroso became prime minister, after the Socialist Party suffered defeats.
Victory in February 2005 elections went to the SOCIALIST PARTY by Jose Socrates. The Socialists gained their first absolute majority in parliament since democracy returned to Portugal in 1974.
Wednesday, May. 28, 2003 By ROD USHER
When a powerful politician was ar-rested last week in connection with the child-abuse scandal that has rocked Portugal since last November, it brought hope that the country's creaky, excruciatingly slow justice system was finally getting into gear. The detention of Paulo Pedroso, Socialist M.P. and former minister, was hailed by lawyers and commentators as a sign that the wealthy and influential were no longer untouchable. And so what if the police used investigating techniques that might be deemed unacceptable in other countries? Although not commenting on the merits of particular arrests, Lisbon lawyer Francisco O'Neill Marques says, "Rich and powerful people have been detained. It makes me proud to be a lawyer."
Pedroso's was one of several high-profile arrests after an interminable, eight-month police investigation into a pedophile network operating in state-run children's homes known as Casa Pia. Also placed in preventive detention was Jorge Ritto, a former ambassador to South Africa, along with a doctor, a lawyer and a TV anchorman.
The arrests came after police used controversial powers to tap the cellular phones of prominent opposition politicians, including Pedroso's mentor, Socialist leader Eduardo Ferro Rodrigues, and Antonio Costa, head of the party's parliamentary delegation. Under Portuguese law, the police are allowed to listen in on anyone's phone conversations with special judicial permission, if they believe doing so will help solve a serious crime. The Socialists smell a witch-hunt: Ferro Rodrigues said he had learned of plans to implicate him in the scandal, although Attorney General José Souto de Moura insists he is not a suspect. Party spokesman Manuel Alegre said there could be no democracy if "everyone is listening in on everyone else." Francisco Louça, spokesman for the minority Left Bloc Party, described the phone tapping as Portugal's "judicial Watergate." But the Attorney General maintained that the police had acted within their powers. He told reporters: "I myself could be [tapped] whether or not I was under suspicion, if the conversation would help discover the truth."