National Union (Portugal)

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National Union
União Nacional
President António de Oliveira Salazar (1930-1968)
Marcelo Caetano (1968-1974)
Founder António de Oliveira Salazar
Founded 30 July 1930
Dissolved 1974
Youth wing Mocidade Portuguesa
Paramilitary wing Legião Portuguesa
Ideology Portuguese nationalism
Lusitanian Integralism (faction)
Political position Right-wing
International affiliation None
Colours Blue and white
Politics of Portugal
Political parties

The National Union (Portuguese: União Nacional; Portuguese pronunciation: [uniˈɐ̃w̃ nɐsiuˈnaɫ]) was the only legal political party in Portugal for most of the period of the Estado Novo. Ideologically, the National Union was an authoritarian, clerico-fascist party dominated by António de Oliveira Salazar.

The organization was founded in 1930 during the National Dictatorship period of 1928-33. Officially it was not a political party, but an "organisation of unity of all the Portuguese". For the next 43 years, it effectively held a monopoly of power in the Estado Novo. The opposition Movement of Democratic Unity was legal in 1945-48, but even then the political system was so heavily rigged that it had no realistic chance of winning.

The party won all seats in elections to the Portuguese National Assembly from 1934 to 1973. Opposition candidates were nominally allowed after 1945, but prematurely withdrew in the 1945 and 1973 elections. In 1970 – two years after Salazar had been replaced as leader and prime minister by Marcello Caetano – the name of the party was altered to Acção Nacional Popular (People's National Action), and subsequent to Salazar's retirement faced formal competition in the 1969 election, nevertheless winning all constituencies in a landslide.[1]

The party had no real philosophy apart from support for the regime. As a result, it melted away after the Portuguese Revolution of 1974.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Portugal, 1969" (PDF). PORTUGAL - Assembly of the Republic - Historical Archive Of Parliamentary Election Results. Inter-Parliamentary Union ( Retrieved 8 October 2012.