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Mário Soares

Prince of Asturias Award for International Cooperation 1995

Mario Soares (Lisbon, Portugal, 1924 -  Lisbon, Portugal, 2017) exPresident of the Republic of Portugal (1986-96), a graduate in Philosophy from the Lisbon Faculty of Arts in 1951, and in Law in 1957 from the Lisbon Classical University. His political career began as early as 1942. He had an active intervention in the political life of his country, which led to his deportation in 1968 by the Salazar government.

As a socialist militant he founded the Portuguese Socialist Movement in 1964, together with Manuel Tito de Morais and Francisco Ramos Da Costa. In 1973 this became the Portuguese Socialist Party, of which he was appointed secretary general. After triumphing in the Revolution of the Carnations, on the 25th April 1974, he returned to Lisbon and was appointed as Foreign Affairs Minister in the first provisional government in May. In March 1975, General Vasco González appointed him as minister without portfolio, and in the elections of that year he was elected as a Member of Parliament for Lisbon. In July 1976 he formed his first government of Socialists and independents. He was elected twice President of the Republic in (1986-1996). During his mandate what is termed the Portuguese co-habitation took place, between a socialist President and a centre-right Prime Minister, Aníbal Cavaco Silva.

In 1976 he was elected vice-president of the Socialist International and since then he has maintained an active international campaign in favour of human rights and in defence of the values of democratic socialism. This has earned him, among other things, the prize of the International League of the Rights of Man (1976), the Joseph Lemaire Prize, and the European Robert Schumann Prize for European Merit. Mario Soares was a doctor honoris causa in Political Science of the University of Turin and also of Salamanca.

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