Portugal socialist leader named PM after weeks of turmoil
Antonio Costa, the leader of Portugal's Socialist Party, was named prime minister Tuesday and tasked by the president with forming a government.
The appointment comes after Costa’s anti-austerity alliance with Communists, Greens and the Left Bloc toppled the 11-day-old conservative minority government in a dramatic parliamentary vote this month.
Portugal, still struggling after four difficult years of austerity, has been in political turmoil since an inconclusive legislative election in October.
“The president of the republic (Anibal Cavaco Silva) decided after hearing from the parties represented in parliament to name Antonio Costa to the post of prime minister,” his office said in a statement.
Keeping on the government of outgoing conservative prime minister Pedro Passos Coelho “would not have served the national interest,” the statement said.
Although Passos Coelho’s centre-right coalition won the the October 4 election, it lost the absolute majority it had enjoyed since 2011.
His government was toppled in a parliamentary vote on November 11.