The President of Portugal, Anibal Cavaco Silva, has appointed Rui Machete, 73, Minister of Foreign Affairs.
Rui Machete, the former President of the Luso-American Development Foundation (FLAD), is a senior leader of the ruling Social Democrat Party (PSD). He had served as Minister of Justice and Minister of Defense before being appointed Deputy Prime Minister of the IX Constitutional Government (1983-1985).
Rui Machete replaces Paulo Portas, the leader of the junior coalition party (CDS-PP), who has been promoted to Deputy Prime Minister following a government reshuffle by Portugal’s Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho.
The reshuffle, half way through the legislature, followed a political crisis and ended with an agreement by PSD leader Passos Coelho and CDS-PP leader Paulo Portas.
The Prime Minister has also replaced Economy Minister Alvaro Santos Pereira, an independent, with economist Antonio Pires de Lima (CDS-PPP). The newly appointed ministers will be sworn in on Wednesday.
The center-right government of Passos Coelho (PSD) came to power in early elections June 2011, after the policies of the former Socialist government had failed and a bailout of 78 billion euros was requested from the IMF and EU to fund the national debt.