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Portugal to hold general election June 5: president

Portguese President Anibal Cavaco Silva announced Thursday the dissolution of the country’s parliament and said that an early general election would be held on June 5, in a move widely expected after the resignation last week of Prime Minister Jose Socrates.

“I have decided today to accept the resignation which was handed to me by the prime minister and to call legislative elections for June 5,” he told reporters.

“This election will take place at a critical moment for the life of the country.”

The decision comes eight days after Socialist prime minister Socrates resigned when the parliament rejected a new austerity programme put forward by his minority government.