Portugal's president has appointed Pedro Santana Lopes to be the country's next prime minister.
Critics see Santana Lopes as a political lightweight
He replaces Jose Manuel Durao Barroso, who resigned to take up an offer to head the European Commission.
Mr Santana Lopes, the mayor of Lisbon, was elected leader of the ruling Social Democratic Party this month.
President Jorge Sampaio rejected calls for an early general election, opting to ask the Social Democrats to form a new government.
He said continuity was in Portugal's best interests at a time when the country was still struggling to pull out of recession.
EU leaders picked Mr Durao Barroso - who was halfway through his term - to be the next European Commission president at a special summit in Brussels last month.
"I have been appointed as prime minister and now I will
begin the necessary talks to form a new government," Mr Santana
Lopes, 48, told reporters after a meeting with President Sampaio lasting about 40 minutes.
In a political career spanning more than two decades, the new prime minister designate has had little experience of government at national level, having held only a number of minor offices.
Before becoming Lisbon mayor, his most senior post was as secretary of
state for culture between 1991 and 1994.