President of Portugal

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President of the
Portuguese Republic
Flag of the President of Portugal.svg
Coat of arms of Portugal.svg
Cavaco Silva 2007.jpg
Incumbent
Aníbal António Cavaco Silva

since 9 March 2006
Style His/Her Excellency
Residence Belém Palace
Term length Five years; maximum two consecutive terms.
Inaugural holder Manuel de Arriaga
Formation 5 October 1910
Website http://www.presidencia.pt/
Coat of arms of Portugal
This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
Portugal
Constitution
Foreign relations

The President of the Portuguese Republic (Presidente da República Portuguesa, Portuguese pronunciation: [pɾɨziˈðẽtɨ ðɐ ʁɛˈpuβlikɐ]) is the head of state of Portugal.

Role[edit]

The President theoretically[why?] has wide powers, but most are rarely used, following the precedent set by President António Ramalho Eanes (1976–1986) and upheld by his successors Mário Soares and Jorge Sampaio.[why?]

The President, however, has the discretionary power to dissolve Parliament when they see fit, and President Sampaio made use of this prerogative in late 2004 to remove the controversial government of Pedro Santana Lopes, despite the absolute majority of MPs supporting the government.

Prior to the Carnation Revolution, the powers of the presidency varied widely; some presidents were virtual dictators (such as Pais, and Carmona in his early years), while others were little more than figureheads (such as Carmona in his later years, Craveiro Lopes, and Américo Thomaz; during their administrations, supreme power was held by Prime Minister António de Oliveira Salazar).

Election[edit]

Under the Portuguese Constitution adopted in 1976, in the wake of the 1974 Carnation Revolution, the President is elected to a five-year term; there is no limit to the number of terms a president may serve, but a president who serves two consecutive terms may not serve again in the next five years after the second term finishes. The official residence of the Portuguese President is the Belém Palace.

The President is elected in a two-round system: if no candidate reaches 50% of the votes during the first round, the two candidates with the most votes face each other in a second round held two weeks later. However, the second round has only been needed once, during the 1986 presidential election. To date, all of the elected presidents since the Carnation Revolution have served for two consecutive terms, and presidents consistently rank as the most popular political figure in the country. Recently, however, the popularity of the current president Cavaco Silva has plummeted, making him the second-least popular political figure in the country, just above the Prime Minister, and the first Portuguese President after 1974 to have a negative popularity [1]

If the president dies or becomes incapacitated while in office, the President of the Assembly assumes the office with restricted powers until a new president can be inaugurated following fresh elections.

2011 presidential election[edit]

e • d Summary of the 23 January 2011 Portuguese presidential election results
Candidates Supporting parties First round
Votes %
Aníbal Cavaco Silva Social Democratic Party, People's Party, Hope for Portugal Movement 2,231,956 52.95
Manuel Alegre Socialist Party, Left Bloc, Democratic Party of the Atlantic, PCTP/MRPP 831,838 19.74
Fernando Nobre Independent 593,021 14.07
Francisco Lopes Portuguese Communist Party, Ecologist Party "The Greens" 301,017 7.14
José Manuel Coelho New Democracy Party 189,918 4.51
Defensor Moura Independent 67,110 1.59
Total valid 4,214,860 100.00
Blank ballots 192,127 4.28
Invalid ballots 85,466 1.90
Total (turnout 46.52%) 4,492,453
Source: Comissão Nacional de Eleições

State visits[edit]

The President of Portugal often makes official state visits to other foreign countries. For a list of visits made by President Cavaco Silva see:

Living former Presidents[edit]

There are three living former Portuguese Presidents:

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]