Manuel Alegre

Manuel Alegre

Manuel Alegre de Melo Duarte, GCL (born Águeda, 12 May 1936), is a Portuguese poet and politician, member of the Socialist Party, and a candidate to the Portuguese presidential election, 2006. He was a presidential candidate, in the 2011 presidential election,[1] this time being backed up by the Left Bloc[2] and the Socialist Party.[3]



He is the son of Francisco José de Faria e Melo Ferreira Duarte, brother of sportsman Mário Duarte, son of the 1st Baroness of a Recosta, maternal grandson of the 1st Baron of Cadoro and matrilineal great-grandson of the 1st Viscount of o Barreiro, and wife Maria Manuela Alegre. His sister Maria Teresa Alegre de Melo Duarte is also a Deputy and is the widow of another Deputy, António Jorge Moreira Portugal (1931–1994). Their son is journalist Manuel Alegre Portugal. As he once stated, his ancestors were hanged and beheaded at the Praça Nova, Porto, during the Liberal Wars.[citation needed]


He was a member of the Portuguese Communist Party from his youth until the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia, which he staunchly opposed, in 1968. Today he's usually considered one of the most leftist members of the Portuguese Socialist Party. He voted against all the revisions of the Portuguese Constitution of 1976, and abstained at a commemorative vote for the 10th anniversary of the fall of Berlin Wall, in 1999.

While studying law at the University of Coimbra, Alegre was noticed for his opposition to António de Oliveira Salazar's dictatorial government. He was conscripted, and sent to the Azores and later to Angola, where his involvement in an attempt to military rebellion led to his imprisonment. After serving his prison term in Luanda, he returned to Coimbra, before going into exile in 1964. As a student at the University of Coimbra he was a very active figure of the Associação Académica de Coimbra while member of the governing body, athlete and cultural agent (poetry and theatre).

He would live the next ten years in Algiers, where he was one of the main voices of a radio station directed to Portugal, Voz da Liberdade (Freedom's Voice), also called Rádio Argel, from where he reportedly led a series of activities supporting African forces opposing the Portuguese military intervention, including by airing privileged information regarding Portuguese strategy in the theater of war. The distribution of his first books was forbidden by Salazar's government, so they circulated in samizdat form. Alegre returned to Portugal in 1974, one week after the Carnation Revolution.

He joined the Socialisty Party almost immediately, and was elected to Parliament in every election since 1975. He is currently one of the vice-presidents of Parliament, and sits in the President's advisory Council of State.

Several of his poems were made into songs, sung among others by Zeca Afonso and Adriano Correia de Oliveira, and played by Carlos Paredes.

One of his poems Uma flor de verde pinho won 1976's Festival RTP da Canção, who represented Portugal in Eurovision Song Contest.

In 2004, he lost to José Sócrates a bid for the party leadership.

In 2005, a statue in his honour was erected in Coimbra.

On 24 September 2005, he announced that he would be a candidate in the Portuguese presidential election, 2006, despite his party's official support for former president Mário Soares as a candidate. On the elections held 22 January 2006, he ended up collecting 20.7% of the valid votes (the second largest amount after the elected President, Cavaco Silva, and ahead of his party's official candidate Mário Soares).

He is also a Member of the Portuguese Council of State, elected by the Assembly of the Republic.


He was awarded with the Grand Cross of the Order of Liberty.[citation needed]


He was once married to Isabel Sousa Pires, born in Figueira da Foz, without issue, and is now married to Mafalda Maria de Campos Durão Ferreira, born in Lisbon, 13 December 1947, daughter of António Durão Ferreira and wife Fernanda Furtado de Antas de Campos and only sister of António Miguel de Campos Durão Ferreira (b. 21 January 1946, unmarried), and has three children[4]:

  • Francisco Durão Ferreira Alegre Duarte, married to Margarida Pereira Martins (b. 17 April 1975), daughter of José Manuel Bulhão Gomez Martins and first wife Maria Augusta Rosado da Silva Pereira, and has two sons:
    • Pedro Pereira Martins Alegre Duarte
    • João Pereira Martins Alegre Duarte
  • Afonso Durão Ferreira Alegre Duarte (b. 1976)
  • Joana Durão Ferreira Alegre Duarte (b. 1985)



  • Praça da Canção (1965)
  • O Canto e as Armas (1967)
  • Um Barco para Ítaca (1971)
  • Letras (1974)
  • Coisa Amar, Coisas do Mar (1976)
  • Nova do Achamento (1979)
  • Atlântico (1981)
  • Babilónia (1983)
  • Chegar Aqui (1984)
  • Aicha Conticha (1984)
  • Obra Poética, Vol. I, O Canto e as Armas (1989)
  • Obra Poética, Vol. II, Atlântico (1989)
  • Rua de Baixo (1990)
  • A Rosa e o Compasso (1991)
  • Com que Pena (1992)
  • Sonetos do Obscuro Quê (1993)
  • Coimbra Nunca Vista (1995)
  • Trinta Anos de Poesia (1993)
  • As Naus de Verde Pinho (1996)
  • Alentejo e Ninguém (1996)
  • Che (1997)
  • Senhora das Tempestades (1998)
  • Pico (1998)
  • Rouxinol do Mundo (1998)
  • Obra Poética (1999)
  • Livro do português Errante (2001)
  • Diálogos = Cristina Valada + Manuel Alegre (2001)


  • Jornada de África (1989)
  • O Homem do País Azul (1989)
  • Alma (1995)
  • Contra a Corrente (1997)
  • A Terceira Rosa (1998)
  • Uma Carga de Cavalaria (1999)
  • Arte de Marear (2002)
  • Cão Como Nós (2002)
  • Um Velho em Arzila (2003)
  • Rafael (2004)
  • O Quadrado (2005)


  1. ^ Público, "Manuel Alegre anuncia candidatura à Presidência da República ", [1] (Portuguese) Retrieved 2010-06-11.
  2. ^ Expresso, "Bloco apoia candidatura de Alegre a Belém", [2] (Portuguese) Retrieved 2010-06-11.
  3. ^ Económico, "Expressiva maioria do PS apoia Alegre com resignação", [3] (Portuguese) Retrieved 2010-06-11.
  4. ^ Manuel Alegre in a Portuguese Genealogical site

External links

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