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The Personable President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa

The Personable President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa

He’s funny, self-deprecating, hyperactive, a notorious hypochondriac and a darling of the people. Even before he was elected in January, 67-year-old university professor, former PSD minister and journalist Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa was the favourite to become Portugal’s new President. A household name thanks to his outspoken political slots on television, his public persona encapsulates the best of this country: warmth, energy, delight in simple things, humility and fun. Almost every commentator has said at one point or other over the last few months, “Marcelo could not be more different from his predecessor” – and Portugal is clearly ready for a change. As we went to press on Wednesday, Lisbon was getting ready for the party of 2016 as Marcelo, as he is universally known, was sworn in, taking over from Cavaco Silva.

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