'Professor Marcelo': Portugal's TV Pundit Turned President

'Professor Marcelo': Portugal's TV pundit turned president

Lisbon, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 25th Jan, 2021 ) :Re-elected Portuguese President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, known as "Professor Marcelo" to his fans, shot to fame as a tv pundit and is always ready to be photographed with his admirers for a "Marselfie".

He knows how to work the camera -- photos of the head of state wearing Bermuda shorts in a supermarket queue went viral last May, and he won praise when he threw himself into the sea to help two young girls after their kayak overturned in August.

Starting in the early 2000s, he made his debut as a political analyst on TV, delivering cutting commentary on politics, books and sport to a viewership that quickly grew.

"People love Marcelo because he is entertaining," said biographer Vitor Matos ahead of Sunday's poll in which the conservative, 72, fended off challenges from the Socialists and a new far-right party.

Born in Lisbon in 1948, the former law professor comes from a family of political elites and grew up during Portugal's repressive Salazar regime. His father, a doctor, was minister and colonial governor under authoritarian ruler Marcelo Caetano.

Rebelo de Sousa entered politics after that regime fell in 1974, and participated in the founding of the Social Democratic Party, which he ran from 1996 to 1999.