Portuguese government resigns

Saturday, December 11, 2004

LISBON — Portuguese Prime Minister Pedro Santana Lopes, along with his entire cabinet, resigned Saturday after President Jorge Sampaio dissolved the Western European nation's parliament.

The resignations came after Sampaio warned the government that it would be "politically limited" in the run-up to elections scheduled on February 20. Santana Lopes's Social Democrat Party is severely trailing the Socialists in public opinion polls, reports indicate.

After a slew of crises during Santana Lopes's tenure, including poor credit ratings and accusations of media censorship, Sampaio dissolved the parliament on Friday in an attempt to restore credibility to the nation. He then scheduled new elections ahead of the ones already scheduled for 2006.