Cavaco Silva, Aníbal Antônio

(1939- )
   Leading figure in post-1974 Portugal, Social Democrat leader, prime minister (1985-95), president of the Republic since 2006. Born in the Algarve in 1939, Cavaco Silva was educated in Faro and Lisbon and, in 1964, obtained a degree in finance at the University of Lisbon. Like many of the younger leaders of post-1974 Portugal, Cavaco Silva underwent an important part of his professional training abroad; in December 1973, he received a doctorate in economics from York University, Great Britain. He entered academic life as an economics and finance professor in 1974 and taught until he entered politics full-time in 1980, when he was named minister of finance in the sixth constitutional government of Social Democratic Party (PSD) leader and prime minister Sá Carneiro. He was elected a PSD deputy to the Republican Assembly in October 1980. Following the general legislative elections of October 1985, Cavaco Silva was named prime minister of the 10th constitutional government. His party, the PSD, strengthened its hold on the legislature yet again in the 1987 election when, for the first time since the Revolution of 25 April 1974, Portugal was ruled by a party with a clear majority of seats in the legislature.
   Cavaco Silva, who has emphasized a strong free-enterprise and denationalization policy in the framework of economic rejuvenation, served as prime minister (1985-95) and, in the elections of 1987 and 1991, his party won a clear majority of seats in the Assembly of the Republic (more than 50 percent), which encouraged stability and economic progress in postrevolutionary Portugal. In the 1995 general elections, the Socialist Party (PS) defeated the PSD; he ran for the presidency of the republic in 1995 and lost to Jorge Sampaio. Cavaco Silva retired briefly from politics to teach at the Catholic University. In October 2005, he announced his return to politics and became a candidate for the upcoming presidential election. On 22 January 2006, he received 50.5 percent of the vote and was sworn in on 9 March 2006.
   See also Political parties.

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

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