Soares, Mário Alberto Nobre Lopes

(1924- )
   Lawyer, staunch oppositionist to the Estado Novo, a founder of Portugal's Socialist Party (PS), key leader of post-1974 democratic Portugal, and twice-elected president of the republic (1986-91; 1991-96). Mário Soares was born on 7 December 1924, in Lisbon, the son of an educator and former cabinet officer of the ill-fated First Republic. An outstanding student, Soares received a degree in history and philosophy from the University of Lisbon (1951) and his law degree from the same institution (1957). A teacher and a lawyer, the young Soares soon became active in various organizations that opposed the Estado Novo, starting in his student days and continuing into his association with the PS. He worked with the organizations of several oppositionist candidates for the presidency of the republic in 1949 and 1958 and, as a lawyer, defended a number of political figures against government prosecution in court. Soares was the family attorney for the family of General Humberto Delgado, murdered on the Spanish frontier by the regime's political police in 1965. Soares was signatory and editor of the "Program for the Democratization of the Republic" in 1961, and, in 1968, he was deported by the regime to São Tomé, one of Portugal's African colonies.
   In 1969, following the brief liberalization under the new prime minister Marcello Caetano, Soares returned from exile in Africa and participated as a member of the opposition in general elections for the National Assembly. Although harassed by the PIDE, he was courageous in attacking the government and its colonial policies in Africa. After the rigged election results were known, and no oppositionist deputy won a seat despite the Caetano "opening," Soares left for exile in France. From 1969 to 1974, he resided in France, consulted with other political exiles, and taught at a university. In 1973, at a meeting in West Germany, Soares participated in the (re)founding of the (Portuguese) Socialist Party.
   The exciting, unexpected news of the Revolution of 25 April 1974 reached Soares in France, and soon he was aboard a train bound for Lisbon, where he was to play a major role in the difficult period of revolutionary politics (1974-75). During a most critical phase, the "hot summer" of 1975, when a civil war seemed in the offing, Soares's efforts to steer Portugal away from a communist dictatorship and sustained civil strife were courageous and effective. He found allies in the moderate military and large sectors of the population. After the abortive leftist coup of 25 November 1975, Soares played an equally vital role in assisting the stabilization of a pluralist democracy.
   Prime minister on several occasions during the era of postrevolu-tionary adjustment (1976-85), Soares continued his role as the respected leader of the PS. Following 11 hectic years of the Lusitanian political hurly-burly, Soares was eager for a change and some rest. Prepared to give up leadership of the factious PS and become a senior statesman in the new Portugal, Mário Soares ran for the presidency of the republic. After serving twice as elected president of the republic, he established the Mário Soares Foundation, Lisbon, and was elected to the European Parliament.
   See also Political parties.

Historical dictionary of Portugal 3rd ed.. . 2014.

Look at other dictionaries:

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  • Mario Soares — Mário Soares (2008)  Mário Alberto Nobre Lopes Soares?/i [ˈmaɾiw ˈnɔbrə ˈlɔpɪʃ suˈaɾɨʃ] (* 7. Dezember 1924 in Lissabon …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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