• Short Summary

    Portugal's political crises continues - with no immediate solution in view. And in Lisbon, the?

  • Description

    EXT MV Former Portuguese Prime Minister, Dr. Mario Soares speaking in French.

    Initials RM/0030

    Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved

    Background: Portugal's political crises continues - with no immediate solution in view. And in Lisbon, the former Prime Minister and Socialist leader Mario Soares has said he does not expect his party to form Portugal's next Government. Dr. Soares was dismissed as Premier last July, when his majority partnership with the conservatives collapsed. He was replaced by an independent government headed by Mr. Nobre da Costa, but that lasted just seventeen days until Parliament rejected its programme. Since that defeat on September the 14th, President Antonio Ramalho Eanes has been holding talks with party leaders in his search for Portugal's tenth government since the 1974 revolution.

    SYNOPSIS: Speaking in French to reporters on Wednesday (27 September) after talks with General Eanes, Dr. Soares said the Socialists would return to government after the elections, if the Portuguese people so wished.

    Dr. Soares isolated the cause of the crisis to the two areas of power under the Portuguese constitution - the power of the President to nominate a Prime Minister, and the power of Parliament to support or reject the Premier. Before the crisis could be resolved, it was clear, he said, that the President and the main Parliamentary parties, especially the Socialists, must come together to agree on the Prime Minister.

    General Eanes has met delegations from the Community Party, the Centre-Right Social Democrats and the Conservative Centre Democrats. The Communists are calling for a grand alliance of the left - for, with ninety-nine Socialist deputies and forty Communists, the alliance would have a clear majority in the two hundred and sixty-three-seat Parliament But Dr. Soares has reportedly remained firm in resisting Communist proposals. The Socialists have said that an arrangement with the Communist would cause mass defections from the Soares Party, would prejudice foreign loans, and would harm Portugal's position in NATO. Meanwhile, Dr. Soares says he remains confident that his country's democratic system will produce a solution.

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