Santana Lopes, Pedro Miguel de

(1956- )
   Portuguese lawyer and politician, and prime minister (2004-05). Born in Lisbon in 1956, Santana Lopes took a law degree from the University of Lisbon and was a Student Union leader. In 1976, he joined the Social Democratic Party (PSD) and became a legal advisor to Prime Minister Francisco Sá Carneiro. Santana Lopes has always considered himself a follower of the late Sá Carneiro. In 1986, he became assistant state secretary to Prime Minister Aníbal Cavaco Silva, and the following year was elected to the European Parliament, in which he served for two years. In 1991, Cavaco Silva named him secretary of state for culture. He served in various other posts, including mayor of Lisbon, and he founded a weekly newspaper, Semanário.
   In 1998, Santana Lopes withdrew from politics after being negatively depicted in a private television station comic sketch. Instead, he continued in politics and rose to the vice-presidency of the PSD. José Manuel Durão Barroso resigned in July 2004 to become president of the European Commission, and Santana Lopes became PSD leader. Since his party was the major partner in the governing coalition at this time and Barroso had resigned his post, Santana Lopes succeeded him.
   Santana Lopes' brief premiership was fraught with difficulties. The national economy was in a crisis, and there were frequent cabinet shuffles, factionalism among PSD leaders, and questions being raised about the competence of Santana Lopes to govern effectively. President Jorge Sampaio called a parliamentary election for February 2005, following the resignation of the minister of sport from the cabinet and that minister's attacks on the prime minister's conduct. The Socialist Party (PS) under José Sócrates won the election, and Santana Lopes left office to resume his post as mayor of Lisbon. Santana Lopes, however, after in-fighting with his party and following the party's failure to endorse him as a candidate for the upcoming municipal elections, resigned this post one month before the election of February 2005.

Historical dictionary of Portugal 3rd ed.. . 2014.

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