Portugal Comeback

Unexpected win for Soares

Throughout Portugal's stormy succession of 16 governments in the dozen years since it became a democracy, he was his country's best-known political figure. He served as Prime Minister in three governments, leading the last through a grueling and unpopular period of economic austerity. This past October Mario Soares, 61, seemed washed up. His Socialist Party had just been defeated in parliamentary elections. When he announced his candidacy for President, polls showed his popular support at a rock-bottom 8%. Unfazed, Soares persisted.

Last week his determination paid off. The veteran Socialist leader came from behind to win narrowly the second and final...

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