Commerce Square in Lisbon, Portugal. (Pinkcandy /

After a general election left political options in Portugal a bit hazy this month, a coalition made up of the Socialist, Communist, Green and Left Bloc parties ousted a conservative government that held the reins for a mere 11 days that will go down in the books as “the shortest administration in Portuguese history.”

And that’s not all that the anti-austerity Portuguese have done in recent weeks.

The leftist coalition, which rose to power with António Costa, “the well-regarded former mayor of Lisbon and son of a communist poet from Goa,” as leader, also appointed the country’s first black female minister of justice.

From The Guardian:

The newly formed leftist alliance – the first since the birth of democratic Portugal four decades ago – seemed inconceivable just weeks earlier as the parties struggled to work out their difficulties. … Costa, the former mayor of Lisbon, has insisted his government will meet international commitments on its budget and debts, a year and a half after it exited its bailout programme.

The 54-year-old has said his government will run “a socialist programme” that allows for “a sustainable reduction in deficits and debt”. … Costa certainly faces a challenge holding together a disparate group – suitable for a man who likes to relax by doing 1,000-piece jigsaw puzzles – but he seems confident.

“I always deliver more than I promise,” he declared, pointing to his record as mayor of Lisbon, where he was elected three times, with a bigger majority each time.

Read more.

—Posted by Natasha Hakimi Zapata

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