Portuguese choose ex-Prime Minister
Anibal Antonio Cavaco Silva is the new right-wing president chosen by just over half the Portuguese electorate this Sunday 22nd January (50,6%), against five other candidates from the centre and left.
However, attempts to paint a picture which is overly political are misguided, since the same electorate gave the Socialist Party (Centre) an absolute majority in the legislative elections less than a year ago.
At a time of economic difficulty, the Portuguese voted for a figure who is known, having been Prime Minister for ten years in the 1980s and 1990s and whose mandate was associated with a period of economic stability (although at the time the Euromillions poured into Portugal from Brussels).
Anibal Silva, ex-leader of the right-wing Social Democratic Party, managed to convince those who voted for him that he would be a candidate who guarantees stability in his cohabitation with the Socialist Prime Minister, Jose Socrates.
Who is Anibal Silva?
Born in the Algarve on 15th July, 1939, Anibal Antonio Cavaco Silva graduated in Economic and Financial Sciences from the New University of Lisbon, where he taught as a lecturer before taking his doctorate at the University of York, England, in 1973, in the Economic Effects of Public Debt.
After an academic career as Professor of Economics at the Catholic and New Universities of Lisbon, he worked as Director of the Research Department of the Bank of Portugal and became Minister of the Economy and Planning in 1980 before being elected leader of the Social Democratic Party in May 1985.
Between 1985 and 1995, he led three governments as Prime Minister, before unsuccessfully running for the Presidential elections in 1996, when he was beaten by President Jorge Sampaio (Socialist). Between 1995 and 2005, he dedicated himself to the academic career.
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