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M. Pintasilgo, Portugal's former prime minister, 74

LISBON, Portugal -- Maria de Lourdes Pintasilgo, the only woman to serve as Portugal's prime minister, died of heart failure Saturday, news reports said. She was 74.

Mrs. Pintasilgo as prime minister in 1979. She also held a series of senior posts, including minister of social affairs, in provisional governments after the 1974 revolution which ended 30 years of dictatorship. She had also been ambassador to UNESCO.

Trained as a chemical and industrial engineer, Mrs. Pintasilgo ran unsuccessfully for president in 1986 for the Socialist party and was elected to the European Parliament in 1987.

Social democrat leader Pedro Santana Lopes spoke warmly of her after her death.

''She was a great lady, a person of great value and a woman of causes and ideas. She was distinguished internationally and earned respect and admiration at home. She was always concerned about the social dimension of politics, worried about the underprivileged," Santana Lopes said.

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