Portuguese Premier Mario Soares said on Saturday (10 December) that he had not been asked to form a new government following his defeat in Parliament on Thursday.
GV: Presidential palace in Lisbon. (TWO SHOTS)
SV INT: Premier Mario Soares enters and shakes hands with newsmen.
SV: Soares talking to newsmen PAN TO other reporters.
SV: Reporter asking question in French. (TWO SHOTS)
SCU & SV: Soares answering in French and reporters listening. (SEVEN SHOTS)
President Eanes also discussed the question of a successor to Premier Soares with other political leaders. He held talks with the centre-right Social Democrats, Conservative Centre Democrats, the Communists and the extreme left-wing Popular Democrats Union. Premier Soares has ruled out the possibility of forming a coalition with either the left or right wing.
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Portuguese Premier Mario Soares said on Saturday (10 December) that he had not been asked to form a new government following his defeat in Parliament on Thursday. He was speaking at a news conference after talks with President Antonio Ramalho Eanes.
SYNOPSIS: Premier Soares spent two hours discussing his future with the Portuguese head of state at the Presidential Palace in Lisbon.
Later he told newsmen that his successor would probably not he chosen before December 12, when President Eanes was due to leave for a visit to West Germany. He said he still did not exclude the possibility of being called on to serve again as Prime Minister. But he added that for the time being it was up to the Opposition parties to find a way out of the country's economic crisis.
Relying to reporters' questions, Dr. Soares said he would not return as Premier unless the other parties were in agreement. One of his conditions was the resumption of talks with the International Monetary Fund on a loan to help Portugal out of its difficulties. The 16-month-old minority Socialist government of Dr. Soares was overthrown on a vote of confidence in his policies designed to overcome the country's unemployment problem and soaring inflation rate. The Premier stressed that there was no danger of military intervention. He said the Portuguese armed forces respected the democratic process and constitution.