• Short Summary

    The Portuguese Socialist Party leader Dr. Mario Soares announced that his party would be endorsing?

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    The Portuguese Socialist Party leader Dr. Mario Soares announced that his party would be endorsing General Antonio Eanes as their candidate for next moth's presidential elections, at a rally in Lisbon on Friday (28 May).

    General Eanes entered the presidential race just a few hours before the deadline of midnight Thursday (28 May) and the Socialist rally in Lisbon's main bullring -- which was attended by 8,000 people -- was his launching pad.

    In all five candidates have formally registered their intention of contesting the elections.

    General Eanes is rated the firm favourite, his closest rival is considered to be Admiral Jose Pinheiro de Azsevedo, Prime Minister of Portugal's provisional government, and army chief-of-staff.

    The other candidates are Senhor Octavio Pato -- the Communist Party's representative -- Major Otelo Saraiva de Carvalho and Senhor Wenceslau Pompilio da Cruz -- another last minute candidate representing the settlers repatriated from Portugal's former colonies.

    The campaigning has been strong. Admiral Azevedo told newsmen-as he handed in 8,700 signatures supporting him to the Supreme Court-that he was not "in the race to lose".

    A crowd of several hundred witnessed Major Carvalho arrive to register. He is backed by small parties which want a regime based on the military and workers' councils instead of parliamentary democracy.

    Senhor da Cruz arrived at the Supreme Court with 7,500 signatures. He lived in Angola for 40 years and heads the Independent Social Centre movement -- a pressure group for returned settlers.

    In endorsing General Eanes, Dr. Soares hailed him as the man who prevented Portugal from falling "into a new dictatorship".

    The Socialist Party gained the major portio of the vote in Portugal's general election last month and, at the rally, Dr. Soares reiterated his party's determination to form a minority government.

    The Socialists won 33 per cent of the vote in the elections, and General Eanes has already said he will name Dr. Soares as Prime Minister and allow the Socialists to govern alone.

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    Reuters - Including Visnews
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