President of Portugal Aníbal Cavaco Silva accepted today the resignation of outgoing Prime Minister José Socrates, dissolved the Parliament, and announced early elections to be held June 5 for a new administration.
In a live televised address, the President of Portugal stated that the country’s Council of State had agreed unanimously to dissolve the Parliament and call for early elections. The President described the present situation in the country as being “very grave” and showing signs of “aggravation.”
According to the Portuguese press, the date was first set for May 29, but Carlos César, President of the Autonomous Region of the Azores, opposed the date because it was too close to the Santo Cristo Festivities in the Azores.
Portugal is undergoing political turmoil since outgoing Prime Minister José Socrates submitted his resignation last week under pressure from the leading opposition party PSD and the Communist Party in Parliament against his government’s package of austerity measures.