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Portugal - 1995 - Antonio Guterres

Antonio Guterres The Socialist Party, under the leadership of Antonio Guterres, came to power with a coalition government following the October 1995 parliamentary elections. The Socialists won a new mandate by winning exactly half the parliamentary seats in following election in October 1999. Socialist Jorge Sampaio won the February 1996 presidential elections with nearly 54% of the vote. Sampaio's election marked the first time since the 1974 revolution that a single party held the prime ministership, the presidency, and a plurality of the municipalities. Local elections were held in December 1997.

Prime Minister Guterres continued the privatization and modernization policies begun by his predecessor. Guterres was a vigorous proponent of the effort to include Portugal in the first round of countries to collaborate and put into effect the "euro" in 1999. In international relations, Guterres pursued strong ties with the United States and greater Portuguese integration with the European Union while continuing to raise Portugal's profile through an activist foreign policy.

One of his first decisions as Prime Minister was to send 900 troops to participate in the IFOR peacekeeping mission in Bosnia. Portugal later contributed 320 troops to SFOR, the follow-up Bosnia operation. Portugal also contributed aircraft and personnel to NATO's Operation Allied Force in Kosovo. In December 2001 voters gave a decisive victory to the center-right Social Democratic party (PSD) in municipal elections, forcing Socialist Prime Minister Guterres to resign on December 17, 2001.

The former Portuguese prime-minister was elected by the UN General Assembly (UNGA) in June 2005 and re-elected in 2010 for a second-term, which should have expired last June. However, with the deepening of the refugee crisis, in February 2015, upon recommendation of the UN Secretary-General, the UNGA decided to extend his mandate until the end of the year. On 04 September 2015, Antnio Guterres announced he would leave his post as the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) by the end of 2015.







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