Óscar Carmona

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His Excellency
Óscar Carmona
Óscar Carmona by Henrique Medina
11th President of Portugal
In office
29 November 1926 – 18 April 1951
Prime Minister José Vicente de Freitas
Artur Ivens Ferraz
Domingos Oliveira
António de Oliveira Salazar
Preceded by Manuel Gomes da Costa
Succeeded by Francisco Craveiro Lopes
96th Prime Minister of Portugal
In office
9 July 1926 – 18 April 1928
Deputy Abílio Passos e Sousa
Preceded by Manuel Gomes da Costa
Succeeded by José Vicente de Freitas
Minister for Foreign Affairs
In office
4 September 1926 – 24 September 1926
Preceded by Bettencourt Rodrigues
Succeeded by Bettencourt Rodrigues
In office
3 June 1926 – 6 July 1926
Prime Minister José Mendes Cabeçadas
Manuel Gomes da Costa
Preceded by Armando da Gama Ochoa
Succeeded by Martinho Nobre de Melo
Minister of War
In office
9 July 1926 – 16 November 1926
Preceded by Manuel Gomes da Costa
Succeeded by Abílio Passos e Sousa
In office
15 November 1923 – 18 December 1923
Prime Minister António Ginestal Machado
Preceded by António Maria da Silva
Succeeded by António Ribeiro de Carvalho
Personal details
Born António Óscar Fragoso Carmona
(1869-11-24)24 November 1869
Lisbon, Kingdom of Portugal
Died 18 April 1951(1951-04-18) (aged 81)
Lisbon, Portuguese Republic
Political party Independent (before 1932) National Union (1932–1951)
Spouse(s) Maria do Carmo da Silva
Children Cesaltina Amélia
António Adérito
Maria Inês
Alma mater Portuguese Military Academy
Profession Army officer
Religion Roman Catholicism
Awards Order of Christ
Order of Aviz
Order of St. James of the Sword
Military service
Service/branch Portuguese Army
Years of service 1889–1951
Rank Marshal
Commands Portuguese Army 4th Division (1922–1925)

António Óscar Fragoso Carmona, ComC, GCA, ComSE, (often called António Óscar de Fragoso Carmona, Portuguese pronunciation: [ɐ̃ˈtɔniu ˈɔʃkaɾ fɾɐˈɡozu kaɾˈmonɐ]; 24 November 1869 – 18 April 1951) was the 11th President of Portugal (1926–1951), having been Minister of War in 1923.

Political origin[edit]

Carmona was a republican and a freemason and was a quick aderent to the proclamation of the republic, on 5 October 1910. He was however never a sympathizer of the democratic form of government and, as he later would confess in an interview to António Ferro, he only voted for the first time at the National Plebiscite of 1933. During the First Republic he was briefly War Minister in the Ministry of António Ginestal Machado in 1923. Unlike the popular marshal Gomes da Costa, Carmona had not fought in World War I.

In January 1914 he married Maria do Carmo Ferreira da Silva (Chaves, 28 September 1878 – 13 March 1956), daughter of Germano da Silva and wife Engrácia de Jesus. With this marriage he legitimized their three children.


1945 stamp of Carmona

Carmona was very active in the 28th May coup d'état of 1926 that overthrew the First Republic. The first Council President, commandant José Mendes Cabeçadas, of democratic tendency, was succeeded in June by Manuel de Oliveira Gomes da Costa, also a supporter of parliamentary democracy. Carmona, who had been the Minister for Foreign Affairs between 3 June and 6 July, was the leader of the most conservative and anti-democratic wing of the military regime. On 9 July, Carmona led a countercoup and named himself President, and immediately assumed dictatorial powers. He was formally elected to the office in 1928 as the only candidate.

In 1928 Carmona appointed António de Oliveira Salazar as Minister of Finances. Impressed by Salazar's charisma and qualities Carmona nominated Salazar as Prime Minister in 1932, and largely turned over control of the government to him.

In 1933, with a new constitution, the "Estado Novo" was finally officially established. On paper, the new document codified the dictatorial powers Carmona had exercised since 1928. However, in practice he was now little more than a figurehead; Salazar held the real power. He was reelected without opposition in 1935 and 1942 for seven year terms. In 1935 he signed the law that forbade Freemasonary in Portugal, with dismay due to his Freemason past.

Although the democratic opposition was allowed to contest elections after World War II, Carmona was not on friendly terms with it. When the opposition demanded that the elections be delayed in order to give it more time to organize, Carmona turned it down.

However, there were widespread rumours that Carmona supported the failed military uprising in 1948, which was led by general José Marques Godinho, to overthrow Salazar, with the condition that he would remain as President of the Republic. Probably to end these rumours Carmona finally accepted the title of marshal.

In 1949, Carmona, aged 79 years old, sought his fourth term as president. For the first time, he actually faced an opponent in General José Norton de Matos. However, after the regime refused to grant Matos freedom to actually run a campaign, he pulled out of the race on 12 February, handing Carmona another term.

Carmona died two years later, in 1951, after 24 years in the Presidency of the Republic. He was buried in the Church of Santa Engrácia, National Pantheon, in Lisbon.


Carmona wrote a book of rules for the Cavalry School in 1913.


The town of Uíge, Angola was called Carmona after him.[1] It had this name until 1975 when the Portuguese Overseas Province of Angola became independent.

He is the grand-uncle of the former Mayor of Lisbon Carmona Rodrigues (2004–2007).

He is also the uncle of Brazilian President Augusto Tasso Fragoso.[2]


Political offices
Preceded by
Manuel Gomes da Costa
Prime Minister of Portugal
Succeeded by
José Vicente de Freitas
Preceded by
Gomes da Costa
President of Portugal
Succeeded by
António de Oliveira Salazar (interim)