Portuguese presidential election, 2006

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Portuguese presidential election, 2006
2001 ←
22 January 2006 → 2011

  Cavaco Silva 2007 quadrada.jpg Manuel Alegre.jpg Mário Soares (2003) square.jpg
Candidate Aníbal Cavaco Silva Manuel Alegre Mário Soares
Party PSD Independent PS
Popular vote 2,773,431 1,138,297 785,355
Percentage 50.5% 20.7% 14.3%

President before election



Cavaco Silva

Coat of arms of Portugal
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The Portuguese presidential election were held on 22 January 2006 to elect a successor to the incumbent President Jorge Sampaio, who was term-limited from running for a third consecutive term by the Constitution of Portugal. The result was a victory in the first round for Aníbal Cavaco Silva of the Social Democratic Party candidate, the former Prime Minister, won 50.54 percent of the vote in the first round, just over the majority required to avoid a runoff election. Voter turnout was 61.53 percent for eligible voters.


Any Portuguese citizen over 35 years old has the opportunity to run for president. In order to do so it is necessary to gather between 7500 and 15000 signatures and submit them to the Portuguese Constitutional Court.

According to the Portuguese Constitution, to be elected, a candidate needs a majority (50% + 1). If no candidate gets this majority there will take place a second round between the two most voted candidates.

Political context[edit]

In the presidential election of 14 January 2001, the outgoing Socialist Jorge Sampaio was reelected in the first round with 55% of votes. Because he was term-limited, he was forbidden, by the Constitution, to run for a third consecutive term.

In the parliamentary elections of 20 February 2005, the Socialist Party, led by José Sócrates, won for the first time in its history an absolute majority of seats, while the Social Democratic Party led by Prime Minister Pedro Santana Lopes fell below 30%, their worst result since 1983.

To cope with the bad fiscal situation, the government introduced a policy of fiscal restraint, combining higher taxes, lower public treatments and privatization. This policies were not popular and as a result, the Socialists were defeated in the local elections on 9 October 2005. In the follow up for the presidential elections, the Socialists decided to nominate their former general secretary, Mário Soares, President of the Republic between 1986 and 1996. This decision divided the party, which led Manuel Alegre, a member of the party parliamentary group, to announce his candidacy as an independent. The Social Democrats opted to support their former leader Aníbal Cavaco Silva, Prime Minister from 1985 to 1995, and presidential candidate defeated in 1996.


Thirteen citizens sought election officially, but only six gathered the 7,500 signatures required under the constitution to be a candidate in the poll:

Official candidates[edit]

All the candidates except for Cavaco Silva are considered to be from the Portuguese political left.

Unsuccessful candidacies[edit]

The other potential candidates who, according to the Constitutional Court, did not gather enough signatures, were:

  • Josué Rodrigues Gonçalo Pedro;
  • Luís Filipe Guerra, leader of the Humanist Party;
  • Teresa Lameiro;
  • Manuela Magno, nuclear physicist;
  • Carmelinda Pereira, leader of the Workers Party of Socialist Unity;
  • Luís Botelho Ribeiro; and
  • Diamantino da Silva;


Candidate receiving most votes, per district (Azores and Madeira not shown)
e • d Summary of the 22 January 2006 Portuguese presidential election results
Candidates Supporting parties First round
Votes %
Aníbal Cavaco Silva Social Democratic Party, People's Party 2,773,431 50.54
Manuel Alegre Independent 1,138,297 20.74
Mário Soares Socialist Party 785,355 14.31
Jerónimo de Sousa Portuguese Communist Party, Ecologist Party "The Greens" 474,083 8.64
Francisco Louçã Left Bloc 292,198 5.32
António Garcia Pereira Workers' Communist Party 23,983 0.44
Total valid 5,487,347 100.00
Blank ballots 59,636 1.07
Invalid ballots 43,149 0.77
Total (turnout 61.53%) 5,590,132
Source: Comissão Nacional de Eleições
Vote share 1st Round
Aníbal Cavaco Silva
Manuel Alegre
Mário Soares
Jerónimo de Sousa
Francisco Louçã
António Garcia Pereira

See also[edit]

External links[edit]