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Exit Polls: Conservative Wins Portuguese Presidential Election


Exit polls in Portugal show conservative former Prime Minister Anibal Cavaco Silva has won Sunday's presidential election.

The polls conducted by state-run and independent broadcasters give Mr. Cavaco Silva between 50 and 55 percent of the vote, defeating five other candidates.

If the results are confirmed, he would be Portugal's first conservative president since the 1974 coup ousted the country's right-wing dictatorship.

Portugal's presidency is a largely ceremonial office without executive powers, but the head of state can influence government policy.

Mr. Cavaco Silva has pledged to press for continued economic reforms by the center-left Socialist government. He led Portugal's economic boom as prime minister from 1985 to 1995.

Portugal's constitution bars President Jorge Sampaio from seeking a third consecutive five-year term.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and AFP.
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