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Father of Portugal democracy dies

Mario Soares

LISBON – Portugal’s former president Mario Soares, widely seen as the father of the country’s modern-day democracy, died Saturday aged 92 a fortnight after being admitted to hospital.

The founder of Portugal’s Socialist party, Soares spent decades in politics and spearheaded the country’s entry into the European Union. He was president from 1986 to 1996 after serving as foreign minister and prime minister, and later became a European lawmaker.

Portugal declared three days of national mourning from Monday.

“We have lost today someone who has so many times been the face and the voice of our freedom, for which he fought all his life,” said the country’s current prime minister and fellow Socialist Antonio Costa. (AFP)

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