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Cavaco Silva clear favourite for Portuguese presidency

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Cavaco Silva clear favourite for Portuguese presidency


With two weeks to go before the Portuguese presidential election, the former prime minister has widened his lead even further.

Anibal Cavaco Silva is a free-marketeer who has been compared to Margaret Thatcher. One of his key campaign messages is a promise to rebuild trust and confidence, and in so doing boost the economy. Around 60 per cent of voters appear to support him. Former President Mario Soares is pushing his experience as his major selling point. He has accused Cavaco Silva of failing to understand the role of president in Portugal. The head of state’s job is largely ceremonial but he can dissolve parliament, veto laws and name prime ministers. Soares has 13 per cent in the polls. Fellow Socialist Manuel Alegre around 16 per cent. He is running as an independent, effectively splitting the centre-left vote and leaving right-winger Cavaco Silva with the chance of winning the necessary 50 per cent on January 22 needed to avoid a second-round vote.
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