Professor Diogo Freitas do Amaral, who was elected as President of the fiftieth regular session of the General Assembly, has served as a professor of law at the University of Lisbon, Portugal, since 1970.
The new Assembly President was actively involved in Portuguese politics from 1974 to 1986. A presidential candidate in the 1986 Portuguese election, he lost to the current President, Mario Soares, while obtaining 48.8 per cent of the national vote.
From 1981 to 1983, Mr. Freitas do Amaral was Vice-Prime Minister and Minister of Defence of Portugal and was Interim Prime Minister, December 1980 to January 1981. He also served as Vice-Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs from 1980 to 1981.
From 1982 to 1983, Mr. Freitas do Amaral was President of the European Union of Christian Democrats. He had founded the Portuguese Christian Democratic Party in 1974 and was its President until 1982. In 1988, he was again elected President of the Party and held that position until 1991.
Mr., Freitas do Amaral was also a Member of the Portuguese Parliament, representing the constituency of Lisbon from 1975 to 1983 and again from 1992 to 1993. From May 1974 to March 1975 he was a member of the Council of State.
Mr. Freitas do Amaral received his law degree from the University of Lisbon in 1963, and in 1967, obtained a Ph.D. in public law, including international law. In 1961-1962, he was president of the General Assembly of the Student Association of the law faculty.
During his tenure as a professor of law at the University of Lisbon, he was elected president of the Scientific Committee of the faculty on five different occasions. Mr. Freitas do Amaral has published numerous books and articles on public law, political science and the history of political thought.
Mr. Freitas do Amaral was born on 21 July 1941 in Povoa do Varzim, a small. town in the north of Portugal. He is married and has four children.