Portugal's recently-elected new President, General Antonio Ramalho Eanes, presided over a ceremony at Lisbon's Belem Palace on Friday (23 July), when the country's first democratic government for 50 years was installed.
GV: Pro-Soares supporters chanting outside Belem Palace, waving flags as government ministers arrive in cars (3 shots)
GV INTERIOR: New Prime Minister Soares during swearing-in ceremony
GV and SV: new ministers being sworn in (2 shots)
SV EXTERIOR: members of new cabinet arriving at Prime Minister's official residence
SV INTERIOR: Soares and new ministers seated for meeting (2 shots)
GV EXTERIOR: Ministers posing on steps of Prime Minister's residence (2 shots)
When forming his government Dr. Soares rejected any formal pact with other parties, despite the fact that the communists, headed by Secretary-General Alvaro Cunhal, wanted to form a coalition with the socialists. The Communist Party gained over 14 per cent of the vote and took 40 seats in the Assembly.
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Background: Portugal's recently-elected new President, General Antonio Ramalho Eanes, presided over a ceremony at Lisbon's Belem Palace on Friday (23 July), when the country's first democratic government for 50 years was installed.
SYNOPSIS: A large crowd of supporters of Socialist Party Secretary-General Mario Soares gathered outside the Palace to cheer him as he arrived to be sworn in as Prime Minister of the new minority government. Dr. Soares was the first of the 18-man cabinet to take the oath and afterwards said that his main priority would be the economic recovery of Portugal. He pledged that the agrarian reform laws and the nationalisation of banks and large industries undertaken by the Marxist-dominated government last year would not be reversed.
But Dr. Soares also said that no new nationalisations would be carried out.
The Socialists topped the poll in last a April's general elections and, on the basis of the 107 socialists deputies elected to the 26.-seat assembly of the republic, Dr. Soares decided to form a minority government. He has denied that the "moderate wing" of his party is over-represented in the new cabinet. "It was the only viable government for Portugal at this moment" he said.
Dr. Soares' cabinet met at his official residence after the swearing-in ceremony. It replaces a series of provisional governments since the revolution of April 1974 and although dominated by socialists, also includes both independents and military officers. It faces the delicate task of presenting a moderate programme of government and at the same time satisfying the trade unions.