Edition 1497
20 October 2018
Edition: 1497

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Former Left Bloc leader dies

by TPN/Lusa, in News · 19-07-2018 14:23:00 · 0 Comments

The speaker of Portugal’s parliament, Eduardo Ferro Rodrigues, on Tuesday added his voice to those of other politicians recalling the life and work of former Left Bloc (BE) leader João Semedo, who died earlier aged 67.

Former Left Bloc leader dies

In a message posted on Parliament’s website, Ferro Rodrigues described Semedo as “a man of dialogue and convictions” who will be sorely missed.
As joint leader of the BE, he “contributed decisively for the consolidation of the party and for the current government solution”, with the minority Socialist government supported by other left parties, the speaker wrote. As a former deputy in recent years, he leaves “an immense nostalgia”.
Personally, Ferro Rodrigues wrote, he learned of Semedo’s death with “much sadness”, although it was not entirely unexpected given his recent illness.
Ferro Rodrigues went on to describe Semedo, a medical doctor and former Communist Party member, as “one of the leading political personalities of the last decade and a half” and praised his “civic and political defence of the welfare state, and in particular of the national health service” as something that “will last as an example in the memory of all”.
A book entitled ‘Dying with Dignity’ on medically assisted suicide, edited by Semedo, was in May presented at the parliament building, in a ceremony that Semedo himself was unable to attend.
It was attended by the speaker and by representatives of the several parties that had drafted the bills to allow assisted dying that were rejected by parliament a few days later.
Earlier in the year, jointly with António Arnaut, one of the founders of Portugal’s national health service (SNS), Semedo launched another book entitled “Saving the SNS” containing proposals that it claimed were necessary to “defend democracy”.
Portugal’s minister of health, Adalberto Campos Fernandes, on Tuesday also held Semedo up as an example of a serious man who was dedicated to the public good.
Semedo’s party colleague, former deputy Fernando Rosas, speaking to Lusa News Agency, said that the 67-year-old was “a free, tranquil, determined man who engaged in battles to the end.”
Semedo died early on Tuesday after battling cancer for several years, the BE announced on its website. 

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Edition 1497
20 October 2018
Edition: 1497

Read this week's issue online exactly as it appears in print.

Twitter

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