The founder of the CDS and former minister Diogo Freitas do Amaral died today, at the age of 78, a family source agency told Lusa.

Diogo Pinto Freitas do Amaral, a university professor, was born in Póvoa de Varzim on 21 July 21 1941. He was the leader of the CDS, the party he helped found on 19 July 19 1974, deputy prime minister and minister in several governments.

Expressing his deepest sympathy for the former minister's death, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa recalled him as one of "the four founding fathers of the democratic party political system in Portugal, as president of the Centro Democrático e Social.

Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa highlighted Freitas do Amaral's "decisive interventions" in the first constitutional revision and "in the drafting of structural diplomas, such as the Law of National Defense and the Armed Forces, the Organic Law of the Constitutional Court, the Code of Administrative Procedure and a significant part of the legislation of Administrative Litigation and Administrative Organization.

"And, at the external level, a prestigious projection of Portugal, in particular in the Presidency of the General Assembly of the United Nations and in the Presidency of the European Union of Christian Democracies", he underlined.