Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa

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Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa
Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa - Feira Nacional de Agricultura 2015.png
President of Portugal
Taking office
9 March 2016
Prime Minister António Costa
Succeeding Aníbal Cavaco Silva
President of the Social Democratic Party
In office
31 March 1996 – 27 May 1999
Deputy Rui Rio
Carlos Horta e Costa
Artur Torres Pereira
Preceded by Fernando Nogueira
Succeeded by José Manuel Barroso
Minister of Parliamentary Affairs
In office
12 June 1982 – 9 June 1983
Prime Minister Francisco Pinto Balsemão
Preceded by Fernando Amaral
Succeeded by António de Almeida Santos
Secretary of State to the Prime Minister
In office
4 September 1981 – 12 June 1982
Prime Minister Francisco Pinto Balsemão
Preceded by José Luís da Cruz Vilaça
Succeeded by Leonor Beleza
Personal details
Born Marcelo Nuno Duarte Rebelo de Sousa
(1948-12-12) 12 December 1948 (age 67)
Lisbon, Portugal
Political party Social Democratic Party
Spouse(s) Ana Cristina Motta Veiga
(m. 1972; s. 1980)
Domestic partner Rita Amaral Cabral (1980–present)
Children Nuno
Alma mater University of Lisbon
Religion Roman Catholicism
This name uses Portuguese naming customs. The first or maternal family name is Duarte and the second or paternal family name is Rebelo de Sousa.

Marcelo Nuno Duarte Rebelo de Sousa (Portuguese pronunciation: [mɐɾˈsɛlu ˈnunu ˈdwaɾtɨ ʁɨˈbelu dɨ ˈsozɐ]), ComSE, GCIH (born 12 December 1948) is a Portuguese politician who was elected as President of Portugal in January 2016. Previously he was a government minister and Member of Parliament, a law professor, journalist, political analyst and pundit.


Born in Lisbon, he is the eldest son of Baltasar Rebelo de Sousa and wife Maria das Neves Fernandes Duarte. He is named after Marcelo Caetano, who was to be his godfather.


He is a Licentiate, Doctorate, Cathedratic[clarification needed] Professor and Publicist specialized in Administrative Law from the Faculty of Law of the University of Lisbon, where he currently teaches Law.[1]

He started his career during the Estado Novo as a lawyer, and later as a journalist.

He joined the Popular Democratic Party, becoming a Deputy to the Assembly of the Republic. Later he rose to Adjoint Minister of Prime Minister Francisco Pinto Balsemão. Together with him he was a Co-Founder, Director and Administrator of the Expresso newspaper, owned by Pinto Balsemão. He was also the Founder of Sedes and the Founder and President of the Administration Council of another newspaper, Semanário. He started as a political analyst and pundit on TSF radio with his Exams, in which he gave marks (0 to 20) to the main political players.

In 1989 he ran for Mayor of the Municipal Chamber of Lisbon (Mayor of Lisbon) but lost to Jorge Sampaio, though he did win a seat as City Councilor (Vereador). In that campaign he took a plunge into the waters of the Tagus River to prove they were not polluted despite claims to the contrary.

He was leader of the Social Democratic Party from 31 March 1996 to 27 May 1999 (some weeks before his election as party leader, he declared he wouldn't be a leadership candidate, "not even if Christ came down to Earth"). He created a center-right coalition, the Democratic Alliance, with the People's Party in 1998. He became, however, the Vice-President of the European People's Party–European Democrats. The coalition didn't please large parts of its own party, due to the role the People's Party leader, Paulo Portas, had in undermining Cavaco Silva's government while director of the weekly O Independente.

Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa resigned after Portas, in a TV interview, described a private talk they had had concerning this matter. Portas claimed Marcelo, as an anonymous source for O Independente, described in great detail a dinner where he wasn't present, down to the menu (which included vichyssoise); when later Paulo Portas, in revenge, went back on the decision of the coalition established between both their parties -- the decision which was made before that dinner -- the term vichyssoise – a cold soup – became a reference to that "revenge served cold". For these and other inconsistencies, he was called by Manuel Maria Carrilho political gelatin. A speech, in which he condemned the Portuguese habit of expecting a Messiah and a Dom Sebastião, was not well taken. The failure of the coalition led to his public and televised demission.

In other local elections, he also became the President of the Municipal Assembly of Cascais and the President of the Municipal Assembly of Celorico de Basto.

He had a weekly program of political analysis every Sunday on public TV station RTP after previously having a similar program on the private TV station TVI, where he was introduced as being the wisest and most perspicacious political analyst of current times. His comments cover everything, from politics to sports, including his famous presentations and comments on the newest published books; and they are sometimes controversial, some of the comments being seen as personal and political attacks.

In his analysis, still in TVI, he often attacked Pedro Santana Lopes, accusing him of being truculent, a cudgeller and resentful, and not having the profile to be a President of the Republic. This animosity remained until after he became Prime-Minister, with a particular commentary on his performance finishing with the statement that he was worse than the worst Guterres and that he was making Guterres look better and pushing them to Belém, leading to a response from Santana Lopes' Government Speaker Rui Gomes da Silva, who accused him of an involuntary cabal. The then-President of the network, Miguel Pais do Amaral, asked in a private dinner that Marcelo be more moderate in his attacks, something that Marcelo took as a form of censorship, leading to his exit from the program and the channel. It was after that episode that we was hired by RTP.

Partially in consequence of these events, President Jorge Sampaio dissolved the Assembly of the Republic, with that also dismissing the Government, at a time when it had a stable coalition majority, calling up for anticipated elections, that lead to the defeat of Santana Lopes and the election of José Sócrates, more popular at the time and the Secretary-General of the Party the President always belonged.

In 2010, he left RTP and returned to TVI to do the same program that he had before.

He is also a Member of the Portuguese Council of State, designated by the President of Portugal.

He claims to sleep only 4 to 5 hours daily and to read 2 books a day and is an avid surfer at the Guincho Beach in Cascais.

He was a leading figure on the pro-life side of the 2007 abortion referendum.

On 24 January 2016 he was elected as President of Portugal in the first round of voting.


He was granted the degree of Commander of the Order of Saint James of the Sword and the Grand Cross of the Order of Prince Henry (Ordem do Infante Dom Henrique).


He married in Évora, São Bento do Mato, on 27 July 1972 and later divorced Ana Cristina da Gama Caeiro da Mota Veiga, born in Lisbon, Santos o Velho, on 4 June 1950, daughter of António da Mota Veiga and wife Maria Emília da Gama Caeiro and current widow without issue of Jorge Manuel Vassalo Sors Lagrifa (7 May 1948 – 2 February 2005), maternal grandson of Manuel António Vassalo e Silva, by whom he has two children:


  • Costados Alentejanos, II, António Luís de Torres Cordovil Pestana de Vasconcelos, Edição do Autor, Évora 2006, N.º 41

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
José Luís da Cruz Vilaça
Secretary of State to the Prime Minister
Succeeded by
Leonor Beleza
Preceded by
Fernando Amaral
Minister of Parliamentary Affairs
Succeeded by
António de Almeida Santos
Preceded by
Aníbal Cavaco Silva
President of Portugal

Party political offices
Preceded by
Fernando Nogueira
President of the Social Democratic Party
Succeeded by
José Manuel Barroso