The head of Portugal’s Socialist Party has been appointed the country’s prime minister after a left-wing coalition ousted a conservative government that was only in power for 11 days.
The new prime minister, former mayor of Lisbon Antonio Costa, plans to move away from Portugal’s policies of economic austerity and enact a “socialist program” that will “a sustainable reduction in deficits and debt,” Agence France-Presse reported.
His appointment marks the end of the shortest administration in Portuguese history: the minority government of Pedro Passos Coelho, who had been prime minister since 2011 but whose center-right bloc lost its absolute majority in elections on Oct. 4. This enabled Costa’s leftist coalition to gather enough votes to oust Passos Coelho’s government on Nov. 11, AFP reports, just a week and a half after he was sworn in.
Though Portugal’s conservative president Anibal Cavaco Silva has expressed distrust of Costa’s “incoherent” bloc, he said that Passos Coelho’s leadership “would not have served the national interest,” according to AFP.
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