Portugal’s Prime Minister Pedro Santana Lopes and his centre-right administration have resigned. It follows Friday’s announcement by President Jorge Sampaio that there would bean early general election on February 20.
“I am conscious of the political direction which the previous government took and which we continued,” Lopes said. “However, after the president made public the reasons why he had lost confidence in us we felt that we should not stay on. My administration has made some difficult choices but unfortunately our tenure has been too short for their effects to become fully clear.”