Mário Soares

Mário Soares
Mário Soares
17th President of Portugal
Elections: 1986, 1991
In office
9 March 1986 – 9 March 1996
Prime Minister Aníbal Cavaco Silva
António Guterres
Preceded by António Ramalho Eanes
Succeeded by Jorge Sampaio
Prime Minister of Portugal
Elections: 1975, 1976, 1979, 1980, 1983
In office
23 July 1976 – 28 August 1978
President António Ramalho Eanes
Preceded by Vasco de Almeida e Costa
Succeeded by Alfredo Nobre da Costa
In office
9 June 1983 – 6 November 1985
President António Ramalho Eanes
Preceded by Francisco Pinto Balsemão
Succeeded by Aníbal Cavaco Silva
Personal details
Born 7 December 1924 (1924-12-07) (age 86)
Lisbon, Portugal
Political party Socialist Party
Spouse(s) Maria Barroso
Profession Lawyer, historian, professor
Religion Atheist

Mário Alberto Nobre Lopes Soares, GColTE, GCC, GColL, KE (Portuguese pronunciation: [ˈmaɾiu suˈaɾɨʃ]; born 7 December 1924), Portuguese politician, served as Prime Minister of Portugal from 1976 to 1978 and from 1983 to 1985, and subsequently as the 17th President of Portugal from 1986 to 1996.



Soares is the son of João Lopes Soares (Leiria, Arrabal, 17 November 1878 - Lisbon, Campo Grande, 31 July 1970), Founder of the Colégio Moderno in Lisbon, Minister and then anti-fascist republican activist who had been a Priest for some time before marrying Elisa Nobre Baptista (Santarém, Pernes, 8 September 1887 - Lisbon, Campo Grande, 28 February 1955), Mário Soares's mother, at the 7th Conservatory of the Civil Register of Lisbon on 5 September 1934. His father also had another son by an unknown mother named Tertuliano Lopes Soares. His mother had previously been married and had two children, J. Nobre Baptista and Cândido Nobre Baptista. Mário Soares was raised as a Roman Catholic, but came to identify himself as a laic, agnostic and atheist.

Early life

Soares was born in Lisbon, Coração de Jesus, and graduated in History and Philosophy from the University of Lisbon. He became a university lecturer in 1957, but his activities in opposition to the dictatorship of António de Oliveira Salazar led to repeated arrests. He was active in resistance groups such as the Movement for Anti-Fascist National Unity and the Movement for Democratic Unity.

Soares began his studies at Colégio Moderno, owned by his father. There, for a short period he was taught Geography by Álvaro Cunhal, who would later became the towering figure of Portuguese Communism and one of Soares' greatest political rivals.

While a student at University, Soares joined the Portuguese Communist Party, being responsible for the youth section. In this capacity, he organised demonstrations in Lisbon to celebrate the end of WWII. He was first arrested by PIDE, the Portuguese political police, in 1946, when he was a member of the Central Committee of the Movement of Democratic Unity (Portuguese: Movimento de Unidade Democrática), at the time chaired by Mário Azevedo Gomes. Soares was arrested twice in 1949. On those latter occasions, he was the secretary of General Norton de Matos, a candidate for the Presidency. However, he became estranged from Norton de Matos, when the latter discovered Soares's Communist sympathies.

Soares married Maria de Jesus Barroso Soares, an actress, in 22 February 1949, while in the Aljube prison, at the 3rd Conservatory of the Civil Register of Lisbon. They have a son, the former Lisbon Mayor João Soares, and a daughter, Isabel Barroso Soares, b. 1951, who manages the Colégio Moderno.

Soares's multiple arrests for political activism made it impossible for him to continue with his career as a lecturer of history and philosophy. Therefore, he decided to study law and become an attorney of the bandits (including himself).

Political activity during the Estado Novo

In 1958, Soares was very active in the presidential election supporting General Humberto Delgado. Later, he would become Delgado's family lawyer, when Humberto Delgado was murdered in 1965, in Spain, by agents of the dictatorship's secret police (PIDE).

In April 1964, in Geneva, Switzerland, Soares together with Francisco Ramos da Costa and Manuel Tito de Morais created the Acção Socialista Portuguesa (Portuguese Socialist Action). At this point he was already quite distant from his former Communist friends (having quit the Communist Party in 1951); his views were now clearly inclined to economic liberalism.

In March 1968, Soares was arrested again by PIDE, and a military tribunal sentenced him to banishment in the colony of São Tomé in the Gulf of Guinea. His wife and two children, Isabel and João, accompanied him. However, they returned to Lisbon eight months later for in the meantime dictator Salazar had been replaced by Marcello Caetano. The new dictator wanted to present a more democratic face to the world, so many political prisoners, Soares among them, were released.

In the 1969 general election, which was rigged, the democratic opposition (whose political rights were severely restricted) entered with two different lists. Mário Soares participates actively in the campaign supporting the Coligação Eleitoral de Unidade Democrática or CEUD (Electoral Coalition for Democratic Unity). CEUD is clearly anti-fascist, but they also reaffirmed their opposition to Communism.

In 1970, Soares was exiled to Rome, Italy, but eventually settled in France where he taught at the Universities of Vincennes, Paris and Rennes. In 1973, the Portuguese Socialist Action became the Socialist Party, and Soares was elected Secretary-General. The Socialist party was created under the umbrella of Willy Brandt's SPD in Bad Münstereifel, Germany, on 19 April 1973.


On 25 April 1974, elements of the Portuguese Army seized power in Lisbon, overthrowing Salazar's successor, Marcelo Caetano. Soares and other political exiles returned home to celebrate what was called the "Carnation Revolution."

In the provisional government which was formed after the revolution, led by the Movement of the Armed Forces (MFA), Soares became minister for overseas negotiations, charged with organising the independence of Portugal's overseas colonies. Among other encounters, he met with Samora Machel, the leader of Frelimo, to negotiate the independence of Mozambique.

Within months of the revolution however, it became apparent that the Portuguese Communist Party, allied with a radical group of officers in the MFA, was attempting to extend its control over the government. The Prime Minister, Vasco dos Santos Gonçalves, was accused of being an agent of the Communists and a bitter confrontation developed between the Socialists and Communists over control of the newspaper República.

Prime minister

Democratic government was finally established when national elections were held in April 1976. The Socialists won a plurality of seats and Soares became Prime Minister. But the deep hostility between the Socialists and the Communists made a left-wing majority government impossible, and Soares formed a weak minority government. Vast fiscal and current account deficits generated by previous governments forced Soares to adopt a strict austerity policy, which made him deeply unpopular. Soares had to resign from office after only two years, in 1978.

The wave of left-wing sentiment which followed the 1974 revolution had now dissipated, and a succession of conservative governments held office until 1983, when Soares again became Prime Minister, holding office until late 1985. His main achievement in office was negotiating Portugal's entry into the European Economic Community. Soares almost single-handedly turned public opinion around, for Portugal at the time was very wary of integration into the EEC.


In the Portuguese presidential election, 1986, held in March, Soares was elected President of Portugal, beating Diogo Freitas do Amaral by little more than 2%. He was reelected in 1991, this time with almost 70% of the vote. For most of Soares' two terms of office, Portugal was governed by the centre-right Social Democratic Party, led by Aníbal Cavaco Silva.

He devised the so-called Presidência Aberta (Open Presidency), a series of tours around the country, each addressing a particular issue, such as the Environment or a particular region of Portugal. Although generally well received by the public, some claimed that he was criticizing the government and exceeding his constitutional role. Others stated that the tours were in the style of medieval courts. Yet the name stuck for today's presidential initiatives of the same type.

Post presidency

Mário Soares in 2006
  • Soares retired in 1996, but in 1998 he headed the Independent World Commission on the Oceans.
  • On 30 August 2005, he announced his candidacy to run for President in the election that occurred in 22 January 2006, when he was 81 years old. However, he lost the election to Aníbal Cavaco Silva and was even behind Manuel Alegre, receiving 14% of the vote. "The results went against my expectations. I accept this defeat with a feeling of mission accomplished, [...]" he said, conceding defeat. It was suggested (in RTP1 TV-Programme Prós e Contras, in March 2008), that one of the reasons for the weak vote could be the Portuguese were reluctant to elect any President for more than 2 terms (only allowed by the Portuguese Constitution of 1976 if non-consecutive).
  • He is also a member of the strongest Masonic lodge of Portugal.
  • He is currently president of the Fundação Mário Soares (Mário Soares Foundation).
  • He also sits in the board of Directors of the Fundação Oriente.

After the general elections of Finland, 17 April 2011, Mário Soares, presented an opinion according of which Finland has changed into a extremely conservative country, where solidarity is unknown. Soares reminded the memory of Kalevi Sorsa comparing his generosity and those dwarfs, who now want to rule Finland, their ethical values and hostility against Portugal with great difference. Accordin to Soares the Finns live in illusion believing that speculative markets and credit criminals can destroy nations with nine hundred years independent history.[1]

Honours and awards

In 1998, Soares won the International Simón Bolívar Prize of UNESCO.

In 2000, Soares received the North-South Prize of the Council of Europe.

He is an honorary member of the Club of Rome and a member of High Council of Francophonie.

He is Doctor Honoris Causa from the University of Rennes 2 Haute Bretagne, Free University of Brussels and University of Bordeaux III2.

Electoral results

1986 Portuguese presidential election

e • d Summary of the 26 January and 16 Frebruary 1986 Portuguese presidential election results
Candidates Supporting parties First round Second round
Votes % Votes %
Mário Soares Socialist Party 1,443,683 25.43 3,010,756 51.18
Diogo Freitas do Amaral Democratic and Social Centre, Social Democratic Party 2,629,597 46.31 2,872,064 48.82
Francisco Salgado Zenha Portuguese Communist Party, Democratic Renovator Party 1,185,867 20.88  
Maria de Lourdes Pintasilgo Independent 418,961 7.38
Ângelo Veloso Portuguese Communist Party left the race
Total valid 5,677,525 100.00 5,882,820 100.00
Blank ballots 46,334 0.81 33,844 0.57
Invalid ballots 18,292 0.32 20,436 0.34
Total (turnout 75.38% and 77.99%) 5,742,151 5,937,100
Source: Comissão Nacional de Eleições

1991 Portuguese Presidential election

e • d Summary of the 13 January 1991 Portuguese presidential election results
Candidates Supporting parties First round
Votes %
Mário Soares Socialist Party, Social Democratic Party 3,459,521 70.35
Basílio Horta Democratic and Social Center 696,379 14.16
Carlos Carvalhas Portuguese Communist Party, Ecologist Party "The Greens" 635,373 12.92
Carlos Marques People's Democratic Union 126,581 2.57
Total valid 4,917,854 100.00
Blank ballots 112,877 2.21
Invalid ballots 68,037 1.33
Total (turnout 62.16%) 5,098,768
Source: Comissão Nacional de Eleições

2006 Portuguese Presidential election

e • d Summary of the 22 January 2006 Portuguese presidential election results
Candidates Supporting parties First round
Votes %
Aníbal Cavaco Silva Social Democratic Party, People's Party 2,773,431 50.54
Manuel Alegre Independent 1,138,297 20.74
Mário Soares Socialist Party 785,355 14.31
Jerónimo de Sousa Portuguese Communist Party, Ecologist Party "The Greens" 474,083 8.64
Francisco Louçã Left Bloc 292,198 5.32
António Garcia Pereira PCTP/MRPP 23,983 0.44
Total valid 5,487,347 100.00
Blank ballots 59,636 1.07
Invalid ballots 43,149 0.77
Total (turnout 61.53%) 5,590,132
Source: Comissão Nacional de Eleições


  1. ^ http://www.kauppalehti.fi/5/i/mobiili/kl_mobiili/uutinen.jsp?oid=20110471549&ext=nwnd

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Mário Soares — (2008) Mário Alberto Nobre Lopes Soares …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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

  • Mário Soares — en 2003. Mandats 17e président de la République portugaise (4e dep …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Mario Soares — Mário Soares Mário Soares 17e président de la République portugaise (4e depuis la Révolution des œillets) …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Mário Soarès — Mário Soares Mário Soares 17e président de la République portugaise (4e depuis la Révolution des œillets) …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Mário Soares — Mário Alberto Nobre Lopes Soares en 2003 17º presidente de Po …   Wikipedia Español

  • Mário Soares — Mário Alberto Nobre Lopes Soares (*Lisboa, Portugal, 7 de diciembre de 1924), político portugués. Se licenció en Ciencias Histórico Filosóficas en la Facultad de Letras de la Universidad de Lisboa, en 1951, y en Derecho, en la Facultad de Derecho …   Enciclopedia Universal

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

  • Mário Alberto Nobre Lopes Soares — Mário Soares Mário Soares 17e président de la République portugaise (4e depuis la Révolution des œillets) …   Wikipédia en Français

  • SOARES (M.) — SOARES MARIO (1924 ) Né à Lisbonne, Mário Soares, après avoir fait des études d’histoire et de philosophie, s’est orienté vers le droit, pour s’inscrire au barreau de Lisbonne, où il a défendu un nombre important d’opposants au régime dictatorial …   Encyclopédie Universelle

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