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Elections in Portugal

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Elections in Portugal

Elections in Portugal gives information on election and election results in Portugal.


Only the elections since the Carnation Revolution of 1974 are listed here. During the period encompassing the Constitutional Monarchy and the First Republic there were also elections, but only for a limited universe of voters. During the Estado Novo regime, from 1926 to 1974, the few elections held were not up to the democratic standards of their time and never resulted in power transfer.

Portugal elects on a national level the President and the national Parliament, the Assembly of the Republic. The President is elected for a five-year term by the people while the Parliament has 230 members, elected for a four-year term by proportional representation in multi-seat constituencies, the districts. Also on a national level, Portugal elects 21 members of the European Parliament.

The Autonomous Regions of Azores and Madeira elect their own regional government for a four-year term, usually on the same day. The first regional elections were held in 1976.

On a local level, 308 Municipal Chambers and Municipal Assemblies and 3,092 Parish Assemblies are elected for a four-year term in separate elections that usually occur on the same day.

Autonomous Regions elections

Portugal has two autonomous regions, Azores and Madeira, that elect their own representatives for the regional parliaments every 4 years. The first elections were in 1976 and usually they were both held in the same day until 2007 when Madeira held an early election and Azores held its election the next year. The last election in Azores was in October 2016, and Madeira held a snap election in March 2015.

  • Elections in Azores
  • Elections in Madeira
  • European Parliament elections

  • European Parliament election, 1987
  • European Parliament election, 1989
  • European Parliament election, 1994
  • European Parliament election, 1999
  • European Parliament election, 2004
  • European Parliament election, 2009
  • European Parliament election, 2014
  • Presidential elections

    Under the Portuguese Constitution adopted in 1976, in the wake of the 1974 Carnation Revolution, the President is elected to a five-year term; there is no limit to the number of terms a president may serve, but a president who serves two consecutive terms may not serve again in the next five years after the second term finishes or in the following five years after his resignation. The official residence of the Portuguese President is the Belém Palace.

    The President is elected in a two-round system: if no candidate reaches 50% of the votes during the first round, the two candidates with the most votes face each other in a second round held two weeks later.

    The most recent election was held in 2016 and the next is expected to be in 2021.


    The Constitution of Portugal defines referendum in Article 115. The referendum is called by the President of Portugal, on a proposal submitted by the Assembly or the Government. The President can refuse a proposal for referendum submitted to him by the Assembly or the Government if it is found to be unconstitutional or illegal. Referendums are binding if turnout is higher than 50% of registered voters.

    Citizens of Portugal have the right to submit to the Assembly an initiative for a referendum.

    The referendum can be held only on "important issues concerning the national interest which the Assembly of the Republic or the Government must decide by approving an international convention or passing a legislative act" (paragraph 3). The referendum cannot be held on amendments to the Constitution, budget, taxes, finances and competences of the Assembly, except when issue is the object of an international convention, except when the international convention concerns peace or the rectification of borders.

    There have been four nationwide referendums in the History of Portugal:

  • Constitutional referendum, in 1933
  • First abortion referendum, in 1998
  • Regionalization referendum, in 1998
  • Second abortion referendum, in 2007
  • The Constitutional referendum of 1933 did not comply with the standards of a democratic suffrage, as, for example, abstentions were counted as supportive votes. It resulted in the establishing of the Estado Novo regime.

    The later three referendums, held in the context of a Western-style liberal democracy had turnout less than 50%, so they were not binding. Nonetheless, decissions of all three referendums were honoured.


    Elections in Portugal Wikipedia

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