Hundreds of supporters of Portuguese opposition Socialist leader Mario Soares gathered outside the party's national headquarters in Lisbon on Monday (20 October) to demand that he stand as the party's candidate in the December general election.
SV Crowd waving flags and chanting outside Socialist National headquarters in Lisbon (2 shots)
SV Socialist party members signing petition (2 shots)
SV ZOOM TO CU Poster supporting election of Mario Soares
SVs Socialist Party leader Tito de Morais arriving at headquarters as crowd chant and wave support. Morais stands with supporters who continue chanting (3 shots)
SV Supporter waving poster with picture of Mr. Soares and supporters chanting (2 shots)
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Background: Hundreds of supporters of Portuguese opposition Socialist leader Mario Soares gathered outside the party's national headquarters in Lisbon on Monday (20 October) to demand that he stand as the party's candidate in the December general election. Two days previously Mr. Soares had stepped down from his post as party General-Secretary after disagreeing with the party's decision to continue supporting the re-election of President Antonio Eanes.
SYNOPSIS: Mr. Soares' standing with the party is known to have been undermined by the Socialists' failure to win more than twenty eight percent of the vote in the last two general elections. But there are still many who feel he is the only candidate who can beat General Antonio Soares Carneiro of the Democratic Alliance in the presidential race.
Among his supporters was Socialist Party leader Tito de Morais. The crowd that gathered outside the party headquarters shouted their support of Mr. Soares grumbling that General Eanes had betrayed the left. People queued up to sign a petition urging him to run for the presidency. Sources close to Mr. Soares said he would present himself as a candidate if he received enough grass roots support.
The party is officially supporting General Eanes despite his statements identifying himself with the political aims of the ruling right-wing Democratic Alliance who won a landslide victory in the general election earlier this month (October).