In Portugal the political crises that has gripped the country for five weeks since the fall of Dr.
GV PAN Lisbon bullring with chanting crowd.
GV Rally in progress with people chanting and waving banners. (2 shots)
SV PAN FROM Officials TO Portuguese Communist Party Secretary-General Alvaro Cunhal speaking and crowd listening. (2 shots)
GV Crowds cheering and balloons and flags drifting into sky.
SV INT Portuguese Caretaker Prime Minister Mario Soares up steps and into conference room. (2 shots)
GV TILT DOWN FROM Chandelier TO Soares speaking and newsmen listening. (4 shots)
According to Reuters news agency Dr. Soares' most encouraging negotiations have been with the Conservative Centre Democrats (CDS), Portugal's third largest political party, on a government deal which would give him a workable majority in parliament without signifying an official coalition. However the centre-right Social Democrats, runners up to the Socialists in the 1976 elections, have already indicated that they would stay in opposition if the Socialists form a new administration with CDS support.
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Background: In Portugal the political crises that has gripped the country for five weeks since the fall of Dr. Mario Soares' government shows no sign of coming to an end.
SYNOPSIS: A rally called by the Portuguese Communist Party to consider the situation attracted a huge crowd. About 12,000 chanting, banner waving Communist supporters gathered at the Lisbon bullring on Saturday (14 January). In fact there were so many of them that the crowd spilled out into the street -- but remained good-humoured. On Friday (13 January) Dr. Soares -- acting as Caretaker Prime Minister during his efforts to form a new administration -- announced that he had run into difficulties with the Communists in his search for a stable majority. He described the current state of affairs as "very serious".
During the rally Portuguese Communist Party Secretary-General Alvaro Cunhal told the crowd that the country was "plunged into a crises and we don't yet know how we will get out of it." He added that Portugal has no idea what government would come next and that he didn't know if Dr. Soares' Socialist Party was considering re-opening negotiations with the Communist or not.
Also on Saturday Dr. Soares had a meeting with President Ramalho Eanes. Afterwards he told newsmen he had been given until Wednesday (18 January) to find an agreement with other parties. Dr. Soares said he was making one more try because the President and himself had agreed that an early general election would have harmful effects on the country. The Communists are reported to have bulked at an arrangement which might affect their strength in Portugal's grain growing area and with the Trade Unions.