Political parties were stepping up their campaign with only ten days to go before the April 25 general election -- the fifth since the 1974 Revolution.
SV Poster, Francisco Lucas Pires, leader of the Christian Democrats PAN TO crowd cheering and waving flags
SV Pires at rostrum as crowd applauds (3 shots)
SCU Pires speaks (PORTUGUESE SOT) as audience listens (3 shots)
GV Crowds cheer and wave (2 shots)
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Background: Political parties were stepping up their campaign with only ten days to go before the April 25 general election -- the fifth since the 1974 Revolution. On April 14, the Christian Democrats Party, (CDS) formerly a partner in the ruling Democratic Alliance, held a rally in the Lisbon Sports Pavillion. The party leader, Mr. Francisco Lucas Pires, spoke of liberal nationalism and the need to stimulate investment and creativity. He warned that the country might be heading for another era socialist rule. In its three years in power, the government Democratic Alliance failed to avert the deep economic crisis which Portugal now faces. With inflation running at 22 percent and a foreign debt of 13 billion dollars, Mr. Mario Soares, former Prime Minister, has described the economic situation as highly dangerous, and has called for "good sense and sacrifice". Recent opinion polls have predicted that his Socialist Party would win the most votes, but not enough to gain an outright majority. Mr. Soares has declared himself willing to form a coalition with the Social Democrats, who were partners in the Democrats Alliance. This would be one of the few ruling combinations which has not been tried since 1974.