Prime Minister of Portugal

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Prime Minister of the Portuguese Republic
Coat of arms of Portugal.svg
Flag of Portuguese Prime-Minister.svg
Pedro Passos Coelho 1.jpg
Pedro Passos Coelho

since 21 June 2011
Style His/Her Excellency
Residence São Bento Palace
Lisbon, Portugal
Appointer President of Portugal
Term length 4 years maximum (Parliament can be dissolved sooner). No term limits.
Inaugural holder Pedro de Sousa Holstein, Marquess of Palmela
Formation 24 September 1834
Coat of arms of Portugal
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Prime Minister (Portuguese: primeiro-ministro) is the current title of the head of government of Portugal. As chief executive, the Prime Minister coordinates the action of ministers, representing the Government of Portugal from the other bodies of state, accountable to Parliament and keeps the President informed. The Prime Minister can accumulate the role of head of government with the portfolio of one or more ministries.

There is no limit to the number of terms as Prime Minister. This is nominated by the President of the Republic after legislative elections, to elect members to the Parliament, after having heard the parties represented in the Parliament. Usually, the named is the leader of the winning party in the elections.


Since the Middle Ages, some officers of the Portuguese Crown gained precedence over the others, serving as a kind of prime ministers. Over time, the role of principal officer of the Crown was falling upon the chanceler-mor (Chancellor), the mordomo-mor (Mayor of the Palace) and the escrivão da puridade (King's private secretary).

The first modern prime minister of Portugal was Pedro de Sousa Holstein, Marquess of Palmela, who was sworn in on 24 September 1834, as presidente do Conselho de Ministros (President of the Council of Ministers). In 1911, the official title of the prime minister became presidente do Ministério (president of the Ministry). In 1933, it became again presidente do Conselho de Ministros.

The present tile primeiro-ministro (Prime Minister), attributed to the head of the Government of Portugal, was officially established with the Constitution of 1976, due to the revolution of 25 April 1974


The incumbent Prime Minister of Portugal is Pedro Passos Coelho, who took office on 21 June 2011 as 12th Prime Minister of the second Portuguese Constitutional Republic.[1] The official residence of the Prime Minister, a mansion next to São Bento Palace, which, in confusion, is also often called "São Bento Palace".

Portuguese Prime-Ministers:[2] 1st Mario Soares (two terms); 2nd Alfredo Nobre da Costa; 3rd Carlos Mota Pinto; 4th Maria de Lourdes Pintasilgo; 5th Francisco Sá Carneiro; (interim) Diogo Freitas do Amaral - vice-prime-minister; 6th Francisco Pinto Balsemão; 1st Mario Soares (third term); 7th Aníbal Cavaco Silva (three terms); 8th António Guterres (two terms); 9th Durão Barroso; 10th Santana Lopes; 11th José Sócrates (two terms); 12th Passos Coelho.

Graphical timeline (since 1974)[edit]

Prime Minister's Residence[edit]

The São Bento Mansion.

Just behind the main building of the Assembly of the Republic, there is a mansion that serves as residence and office for the Prime Minister of Portugal. The mansion, dated from 1877, was built within the garden of the old monastery that held the Portuguese Parliament. It has been the Prime Minister's official residence since 1938, when Salazar moved in. Although being the official residence of the Prime Minister, not all incumbents lived in the mansion during their term in office. The current Prime Minister, Pedro Passos Coelho, does not reside in the mansion but uses the mansion as the post of Prime Minister's office.

Living former Prime Ministers[edit]

There are eight living former Portuguese Prime Ministers:

See also[edit]


External links[edit]