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Portugal's President Accepts PM's Resignation


Portugal's President Jorge Sampaio has accepted the resignation of Prime Minister Pedro Santana Lopes and his center-right cabinet.

Mr. Sampaio accepted the prime minister's resignation during a brief meeting at the presidential palace in Lisbon.

The president has called for early parliamentary elections on February 20. Mr. Lopes says he and his cabinet will stay in office until then.

Mr. Lopes's resignation comes after less than five months in office. He became prime minister when Prime Minister Jose Manuel Barros, left Lisbon to become President of the European Commission.

President Sampaio says the Lopes administration "lacked credibility" after several administrative foul-ups.

Some information for this story provided by AP and AFP.

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