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Center-Right Leader Passos Coelho Named Portugal's New PM

Pedro Passos Coelho (L), leader of Social Democrat Party (PSD) and Paulo Portas, leader of Popular Party, exchange their coalition agreement documents for the government in Lisbon, Portugal, June 16, 2011

Portuguese President Anibal Cavaco Silva has named center-right leader Pedro Passos Coelho as the new prime minister of the financially troubled country.

Coelho and his Social Democrat Party won this month's parliamentary elections, knocking the Socialists out of power.

The new prime minister said he will work quickly to form a new coalition government with the right-wing CDS-PP and start working to solve the country's economic problems.

The new government will have to implement an unpopular series of deep spending cuts and economic reforms demanded by the European Union and the International Monetary Fund.

The EU and IMF granted Portugal a $110-billion bailout in exchange for implementing the reforms, which are aimed at helping the country emerge from its economic woes.

Former Socialist prime minister Jose Socrates resigned in March, when the old parliament rejected his economic reform package. Socrates had struggled to avoid turning to the EU and IMF for help.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.