London [UK], Jan. 8 (ANI
): Former Portuguese president and prime minister, Mario Soares
, a central figure in the country's return to democracy in the 1970s after decades of dictatorship, has died at the age of 92.
He was hospitalised on 13 December and had been in a coma before doctors confirmed his death on Saturday, reports the Guardian.
Once popularly known as King Soares for his regal manner, the founder of the Portuguese Socialist party was prime minister three times and later spent a decade as the country's president.
"Today Portugal lost its father of liberty and democracy, the person and face the Portuguese identify most with the regime that was born on 25 April, 1974," the Socialist party said in a statement.
The government has decreed three days of mourning in his honour. (ANI