Assembly of the Republic (Portugal)

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This article is about the Portuguese parliament. For other uses, see Assembly of the Republic (disambiguation).
Assembly of the Republic
Assembleia da República
Coat of arms or logo
Type
Type
Leadership
Eduardo Ferro RodriguesPS
Since 23 October 2015
Structure
Seats 230
Current Structure of the Assembly of the Republic
Political groups

Government (86)

  •      PS (86)

Supported by (36)

  •      BE (19)
  •      PCP (15)
  •      PEV (2)

Opposition (108)

Elections
Party-list proportional representation
D'Hondt method
Closed list
Last election
4 October 2015
Next election
October 2019 or earlier
Meeting place
Parlamento-IPPAR1.jpg
São Bento Palace, Lisbon, Portugal
Website
Assembleia da República
Coat of arms of Portugal
This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
Portugal
Constitution
Foreign relations

The Assembly of the Republic (Portuguese: Assembleia da República, pronounced: [ɐsẽˈblɐjɐ dɐ ʁɛˈpublikɐ]) is the Portuguese parliament.

According to the Portuguese Constitution, the unicameral Assembly "is the representative assembly of all Portuguese citizens." The constitution names the assembly as one of the country's organs of supreme authority.

It is located in a historical building in Lisbon, referred to as Palácio de São Bento (Saint Benedict Palace), the site of an old Benedictine monastery. The Palácio de São Bento has been the seat of the Portuguese parliaments since 1834 (Cortes until 1910, Congress from 1911 to 1926 and National Assembly from 1933 to 1974).

Powers and duties of the Assembly[edit]

The Assembly of the Republic's powers derives from its power to dismiss a government through a vote of no confidence, to change the country's laws, and to amend the constitution (this one requires a majority of two-thirds). In addition to these key powers, the constitution grants to the Assembly extensive legislative powers and substantial control over the budget, the right to authorize the government to raise taxes and grant loans, the power to ratify treaties and other kinds of international agreements, and the duty to approve or reject decisions by the President of the Republic to declare war and make peace. The assembly also appoints many members of important state institutions, such as ten of the thirteen members of the Constitutional Court and seven of the sixteen members of the Council of State.

The constitution requires the assembly to quickly review and approve an incoming government's program. Parliamentary rules allow the assembly to call for committees of inquiry to examine the government's actions. Political opposition represented in the assembly has the power to review the cabinet's actions, even though it is unlikely that the actions can be reversed. Party groups can also call for interpellations that require debates about specific government policies.

Structure[edit]

The assembly consisted at first of 250 members, but the constitutional reforms of 1989 reduced its number to between 180 and 230. Members are elected by popular vote for legislative terms of four years from the country's twenty-two constituencies (eighteen in mainland Portugal corresponding to each district, one for each autonomous regions, Azores (Portuguese: Açores) and Madeira, one for Portuguese living in Europe and a last one for those living in the rest of the world. Except for the constituencies for Portuguese living abroad, which are fixed at two members each, the number of voters registered in a constituency determines the number of its members in the assembly, using the D'Hondt method of proportional representation. Constituencies vary greatly in size; from as large as the district of Lisbon, which returns 48 representatives, to as small as the district of Portalegre, which elects just two.

According to the constitution, members of the assembly represent the entire country, not the constituency from which they are elected. This directive has been reinforced in practice by the strong role of political parties in regard to members of the assembly. Party leadership, for example, determines in which areas candidates are to run for office, thus often weakening members' ties to their constituencies. Moreover, members of the assembly are expected to vote with their party and to work within parliamentary groups based on party membership. Party discipline is strong, and insubordinate members can be coerced through a variety of means. A further obstacle to members' independence is that their bills first have to be submitted to the parliamentary groups, and it is these groups' leaders who set the assembly's agenda.

The President of the Assembly of the Republic is the second hierarchical figure in the Portuguese state, after the President of the Portuguese Republic, and is usually nominated by the party that holds the majority of the seats. The President of the Assembly is aided by four vice-presidents, nominated by the other parties represented in the parliament, and is usually the speaker. When he is not present, one of the vice-presidents takes the role of speaker. When the President of the Republic is, for any reason, unable to perform to job, the President of the Assembly of the Republic becomes his substitute.

Latest election[edit]

e • d Summary of the 4 October 2015 Assembly of the Republic elections results
Assembly of the Republic election, 2015 results.svg
Parties Votes % ±pp swing MPs MPs %/
votes %
2011 2015 ± % ±
Portugal Ahead (PSD / CDS-PP) 1,993,921 36.86 Decrease10.9 124 102 Decrease22 44.35 Decrease10.5 1.20
Socialist Party 1,747,685 32.31 Increase4.3 74 86 Increase12 37.39 Increase5.2 1.16
Left Bloc 550,892 10.19 Increase5.0 8 19 Increase11 8.26 Increase4.8 0.81
Unitary Democratic Coalition 445,980 8.25 Increase0.4 16 17 Increase1 7.39 Increase0.4 0.90
Social Democratic 81,054 1.50 N/A 7 5 Decrease2 2.17 Decrease0.9 1.45
People-Animals-Nature 75,140 1.39 Increase0.4 0 1 Increase1 0.43 Increase0.4 0.31
Democratic Republican 61,632 1.14 N/A N/A 0 N/A 0.00 N/A 0.0
Workers' Communist Party 59,955 1.11 Increase0.0 0 0 Steady0 0.00 Steady0.0 0.0
FREE/Time to move Foward 39,340 0.73 N/A N/A 0 N/A 0.00 N/A 0.0
National Renovator Party 27,269 0.50 Increase0.2 0 0 Steady0 0.00 Steady0.0 0.0
Earth Party 22,596 0.42 Increase0.0 0 0 Steady0 0.00 Steady0.0 0.0
We, the Citizens! 21,439 0.40 N/A N/A 0 N/A 0.00 N/A 0.0
Labour / Socialist Alternative (ACT!) 20,749 0.38 N/A N/A 0 N/A 0.00 N/A 0.0
People's Monarchist 14,897 0.28 Increase0.0 0 0 Steady0 0.00 Steady0.0 0.0
Together for the People 14,285 0.26 N/A N/A 0 N/A 0.00 N/A 0.0
United Party of Retirees and Pensioners 13,979 0.26 N/A N/A 0 N/A 0.00 N/A 0.0
People's 7,536 0.14 N/A 1 0 Decrease1 0.00 Decrease0.4 0.0
People's / People's Monarchist 3,654 0.07 N/A 0 0 Steady0 0.00 Steady0.0 0.0
Christian Democratic and Citizenship 2,659 0.05 Decrease0.1 0 0 Steady0 0.00 Steady0.0 0.0
Labour 1,748 0.03 N/A 0 0 Steady0 0.00 Steady0.0 0.0
Total valid 5,206,410 96.25 Increase0.4 230 230 Steady0 100.00 Steady0.0
Blank ballots 112,851 2.09 Decrease0.6
Invalid ballots 89,544 1.66 Increase0.3
Total (turnout 55.86%) 5,408,805 100.00 Decrease2.1
Source: Legislativas 2015
Vote share
PàF
  
36.86%
PS
  
32.31%
BE
  
10.19%
CDU
  
8.25%
PSD
  
1.50%
PAN
  
1.39%
PDR
  
1.14%
PCTP/MRPP
  
1.11%
L/TDA
  
0.74%
Others/Invalids
  
6.51%

Distribution by constituency[edit]

São Bento Palace, home of the Portuguese Parliament
e • d Results of the 2015 election of the Portuguese Assembly of the Republic
by constituency
Constituency % S % S % S % S % S % S Total
S
PàF PS BE CDU PSD PAN
Azores - - 40.3 3 7.8 - 2.5 - 36.1 2 0.9 - 5
Aveiro 48.1 10 27.9 5 9.6 1 4.4 - - - 1.0 - 16
Beja 20.1 1 37.3 1 8.2 - 25.0 1 - - 0.8 - 3
Braga 45.6 10 30.9 7 8.8 1 5.2 1 - - 0.8 - 19
Bragança 49.4 2 34.1 1 5.5 - 3.1 - - - 0.6 - 3
Castelo Branco 35.3 2 38.9 2 10.0 - 6.0 - - - 0.8 - 4
Coimbra 37.2 4 35.3 4 9.9 1 7.0 - - - 1.0 - 9
EvoraÉvora 23.9 1 37.5 1 8.6 - 21.9 1 - - 0.9 - 3
Faro 31.5 3 32.8 4 14.1 1 8.7 1 - - 2.0 - 9
Guarda 45.6 2 33.8 2 7.4 - 4.0 - - - 0.9 - 4
Leiria 48.4 6 24.8 3 9.7 1 5.1 - - - 1.2 - 10
Lisbon 34.7 18 33.5 18 10.9 5 9.8 5 - - 2.0 1 47
Madeira - - 20.9 2 10.7 1 3.6 - 37.8 3 1.8 - 6
Portalegre 27.6 1 42.4 1 9.2 - 12.2 - - - 0.8 - 2
Porto 39.6 17 32.7 14 11.1 5 6.8 3 - - 1.6 - 39
Santarém 35.8 4 32.9 3 10.8 1 9.6 1 - - 1.2 - 9
Setúbal 22.6 5 34.3 7 13.1 2 18.8 4 - - 1.9 - 18
Viana do Castelo 45.5 4 29.8 2 8.0 - 5.2 - - - 0.9 - 6
Vila Real 51.0 3 33.1 2 5.2 - 3.0 - - - 0.6 - 5
Viseu 51.1 6 29.7 3 6.7 - 3.5 - - - 0.7 - 9
zEurope 39.1 1 29.9 1 5.8 - 5.9 - - - 0.9 - 2
zRest of the World 48.5 2 10.8 - 1.6 - 1.5 - - - 1.8 - 2
Total 36.9 102 32.3 86 10.2 19 8.3 17 1.5 5 1.4 1 230
Source: Legislativas 2015

Presidents of the Assembly of the Republic[edit]

Members[edit]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]


External links[edit]