President of Portugal

The President of the Portuguese Republic (Portuguese: Presidente da República Portuguesa, pronounced [pɾɨziˈðẽtɨ ðɐ ʁɛˈpuβlikɐ puɾtuˈɡezɐ]) is the executive head of state of Portugal. The powers, functions and duties of prior presidential offices, and their relation with the Prime Minister and cabinets have over time differed with the various Portuguese constitutions.

The current President of Portugal is Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, who took office on 9 March 2016.

President of the Portuguese Republic
Presidente da República Portuguesa
Coat of arms of Portugal
Flag of the President of Portugal
Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, Visita de Estado ao México 2017-07-17
Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa

since 9 March 2016
StyleHis/Her Excellency[1]
Member ofCouncil of State
Council of Ministers
ResidenceBelém Palace
SeatLisbon, Portugal
AppointerDirect election;
Two-round system, universal suffrage
Term lengthFive years;
Renewable once, consecutively.
Constituting instrumentConstitution of the
Third Republic
PrecursorKing of Portugal
Formation5 October 1910
First holderManuel de Arriaga
Salary93,364.74 (2015)


The Portuguese Third Republic is a semi-presidential system. Unlike several other European presidents, the Portuguese President is quite powerful. Although it is the Prime Minister of Portugal and parliament that oversee much of the nation's actual day-to-day affairs, the Portuguese President wields significant influence and authority, especially in the fields of national security and foreign policy (but less than other "strong" semi-presidential systems, such as France or Romania). The President is the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, holds the nation's most senior office, and outranks all other politicians.

The President's greatest power is their ability to choose the Prime Minister. However, since the Assembly of the Republic has the sole power to dismiss the Prime Minister's government, the Prime Minister named by the President must have the confidence of the majority of the representatives in the assembly, otherwise he or she may face a motion of no confidence. The President has the discretionary power to dissolve parliament when sees it fit (colloquially known as the "atomic bomb" in Portugal), and President Sampaio made use of this prerogative in late 2004 to remove the controversial government of Pedro Santana Lopes, despite the absolute majority of deputies supporting the government. In 2003 President Sampaio also intervened to limit the Portuguese participation in the Iraq War - as Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces he forbade the deployment of the Portuguese Army in a war that he personally disagreed with, clashing with the then Prime-Minister José Manuel Barroso (128 National Republican Guards were eventually deployed from 2003 to 2005).

Prior to the Carnation Revolution, the powers of the presidency varied widely; some presidents were virtual dictators (such as Pais, and Carmona in his early years), while others were little more than figureheads (such as Carmona in his later years, Craveiro Lopes, and Américo Thomaz; during their administrations, supreme power was held by President of the Council of Ministers António de Oliveira Salazar).


The constitution grants the following powers to the president:[3]

  • The President exercises the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces and Grand Master of the Three Orders and shall appoint and remove, at the proposal of the Government, the Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces and the Military Staff Heads of the three branches the Armed Forces.
  • The president can dissolve the Assembly of the Republic, which implies the need to call for new legislative elections and after the implementation of these, the resignation of the government.
  • The President appoints the Prime Minister, given the election results, and appoints the other members of the Government by proposal of the Prime Minister. He can, however, dismiss the Government when this is necessary to ensure the smooth functioning of democratic institutions. Even the government bodies of the autonomous regions may be dissolved by the President, by committing serious acts contrary to the Constitution.
  • The President declares a state of siege and emergency upon consultation with the Government and with permission of the Parliament.
  • At the proposal of the Government and with the authorization of the Parliament, the President can declare war in the event of actual or imminent aggression and can also propose peace.
  • The President promulgates or vetoes the promulgation of laws, decree-laws, regulatory decrees and other decrees of the Government.
  • In the area of his powers in international relations, the President of the Republic ratifies international treaties.
  • The President decides on referendums put forth to him by Parliament.
  • The President of the Republic may request the Constitutional Court prior review of the constitutionality of the norms of international agreements or decrees that they have been sent for promulgation as an organic law, law or ordinance.
  • The President shall appoint and remove, in some cases a proposal from the Government, holders of important state organs such as the Representatives of the Republic for the autonomous regions, the President of the Supreme Court and the Attorney General, five members of the Council of State and two members of the Supreme Judicial Council.
  • The president appoints ambassadors and special envoys, following proposal by the Government, and accredits the foreign diplomatic representatives.
  • The President of the Republic, after consultation with the Government, pardons and commutes sentences.


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.[3] 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. However, the second round has only been needed once, during the 1986 presidential election. To date, all of the elected presidents since the Carnation Revolution have served for two consecutive terms, and presidents consistently rank as the most popular political figure in the country. Recently, however, the popularity of former President Cavaco Silva plummeted, making him the second-least popular political figure in the country, just above the Prime Minister, and the first Portuguese President after 1974 to have a negative popularity.[4]

If the president dies or becomes incapacitated while in office, the President of the Assembly assumes the office with restricted powers until a new president can be inaugurated following fresh elections.

2016 presidential election

 Summary of the 24 January 2016 Portuguese presidential election results
Candidates Supporting parties First round
Votes %
Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa Social Democratic Party, People's Party, People's Monarchist Party 2,413,956 52.00
António Sampaio da Nóvoa Independent supported by the Portuguese Workers' Communist Party, LIVRE 1,062,138 22.88
Marisa Matias Left Bloc, Socialist Alternative Movement 469,814 10.12
Maria de Belém Independent 196,765 4.24
Edgar Silva Portuguese Communist Party, Ecologist Party "The Greens" 183,051 3.94
Vitorino Silva Independent 152,374 3.28
Paulo de Morais Independent 100,191 2.16
Henrique Neto Independent 39,163 0.84
Jorge Sequeira Independent 13,954 0.30
Cândido Ferreira Independent 10,609 0.23
Total valid 4,642,015 100.00
Blank ballots 58,964 1.24
Invalid ballots 43,588 0.92
Total (turnout 48.66%) 4,744,597
Source: Comissão Nacional de Eleições

State visits

The President of Portugal often makes official state visits to other foreign countries.

Living former Presidents

There are three living former Portuguese Presidents:

Ramalho Eanes (1983-09-14) (cropped)

António Ramalho Eanes
25 January 1935 (age 84)

Jorge Sampaio 3

Jorge Sampaio
18 September 1939 (age 79)

Aníbal Cavaco Silva 2014

Aníbal Cavaco Silva
15 July 1939 (age 79)

See also


  1. ^ "United Nations Protocol and Liaison Service Public List: Heads of State - Heads of Government - Ministers For Foreign Affairs". Retrieved 14 October 2016.
  2. ^ Miguel Santos (23 September 2015). "E agora um tema sensível: os políticos são mal pagos?". Observador (in Portuguese). Lisbon. Retrieved 12 October 2016. Todos os salários de detentores de cargos políticos são calculados em função do salário bruto do Presidente da República — 6 668 euros brutos (a que acresce 25% de despesas de representação).
  3. ^ a b "Constitution of the Portuguese Republic" (PDF). Assembly of the Republic. 2005. Retrieved 6 June 2014.
  4. ^ Francisco Teixeira (21 April 2011). "Cavaco é o primeiro PR com popularidade negativa". Diário Econónmico (in Portuguese). Lisbon. Retrieved 16 October 2016.

External links

1924 Campeonato de Portugal Final

The 1924 Campeonato de Portugal Final was the final match of the 1923–24 Campeonato de Portugal, the 3rd season of the Portuguese football cup, organised by the Portuguese Football Union.

The match took place on Sunday, 8 June 1924, at the Estádio do Campo Grande in Lisbon, between Algarve side Olhanense and Porto side FC Porto. Olhanense won the match 4–2, with goals from Graça, Tamanqueiro, Gralho and Belo. In doing so, Olhanense conquered their 1st title in the competition.

The President of Portugal, Manuel Teixeira Gomes attended the game, starting a tradition in Portugal.

1976 Portuguese presidential election

The Portuguese presidential election of 1976 was held on 27 June.

With a broad base of support that comprised the center-left and the center-right, Ramalho Eanes won the election on the first round and became the first elected President of Portugal after the Carnation Revolution.

The Portuguese Communist Party presented its own candidate, Octávio Pato, a well known anti-fascist. One of the major responsibles for the military operations during the Carnation Revolution, in 1974, Otelo Saraiva de Carvalho, was also a candidate.

2011 Portuguese presidential election

The 2011 Portuguese presidential election was held on 23 January 2011. This election resulted in the re-election of Aníbal Cavaco Silva to a second term as President of Portugal. Turnout in this election was very low, where only 46.52% of the electorate cast their ballots. Cavaco Silva won by a landslide winning all 18 districts, both Autonomous regions of Azores and Madeira and 292 municipalities of a total of 308.

Américo Tomás

Américo de Deus Rodrigues Tomás (or Thomaz), GCC, GOA, GOSE (Portuguese pronunciation: [ɐˈmɛɾiku dɨ ˈdewʃ ʁuˈdɾiɡɨʃ tuˈmaʃ]), (19 November 1894 – 18 September 1987) was a Portuguese Navy officer and politician. He was the 13th President of Portugal, and the third and last president of the Estado Novo.

António José de Almeida

António José de Almeida, GCTE, GCA, GCC, GCSE (Portuguese pronunciation: [ɐ̃ˈtɔniu ʒuˈzɛ dɨ aɫˈmɐjdɐ]; 27 July 1866 in Penacova, São Pedro de Alva – 31 October 1929 in Lisbon), son of José António de Almeida and his wife Maria Rita das Neves, was a Portuguese political figure. He served as the sixth President of Portugal from 1919 until 1923.

António Ramalho Eanes

António dos Santos Ramalho Eanes, GColL GCL GColTE CavA (Portuguese pronunciation: [ɐ̃ˈtɔniu ʁɐˈmaʎu iˈɐnɨʃ]; born 25 January 1935) is a Portuguese general and politician who was the 16th President of Portugal from 1976 to 1986.

Aníbal Cavaco Silva

Aníbal António Cavaco Silva, GCC, GColL (Portuguese pronunciation: [ɐˈniβɐɫ ɐ̃ˈtɔɲu kɐˈvaku ˈsiɫvɐ]; born 15 July 1939), is an economist who was the 19th President of Portugal, in office from 9 March 2006 to 9 March 2016. He had been previously Prime Minister of Portugal from 6 November 1985 to 28 October 1995. His 10-year tenure was the longest of any prime minister since António de Oliveira Salazar, and he was the first Portuguese prime minister to win an absolute parliamentary majority under the current constitutional system. He is best known for leading Portugal into the European Union.

He won the 22 January 2006 presidential election and was re-elected on 23 January 2011 for a second five-year term. During his second term, his perceived disregard of the results of the 2015 election most likely contributed to him having the lowest level of popularity for a Portuguese President since the Carnation Revolution.

Bernardino Machado

Bernardino Luís Machado Guimarães, GCTE, GCL (Portuguese pronunciation: [bɨɾnaɾˈdinu mɐˈʃadu]; 28 March 1851 – 29 April 1944), was a Portuguese political figure, the third and eighth President of Portugal (1915–17, 1925–26).

Council of Ministers (Portugal)

The Council of Ministers (Portuguese: Conselho de Ministros, pronounced [kõˈseʎu dɨ miˈniʃtɾuʃ] or [kõˈsɐʎu dɨ mɨˈniʃtɾuʃ]) is a collegial executive body within the Government of Portugal. It is presided over by the Prime Minister, but the President of Portugal can take on this role at the Prime Minister's request. All senior ministers are members of the council of ministers, and when the prime minister finds it applicable, state secretaries can also attend its meetings.

First Lady of Portugal

The First Lady of Portugal (Portuguese: primeira-dama) is the unofficial title attributed to the wife of the President of Portugal. To date, there has been no First Gentleman of Portugal. The First Lady position is currently vacant, since the incumbent President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa is not married.


Gomes is a common Portuguese and Old Galician surname. It derived from the given name Gomes, which derived from the Visigothic word guma, meaning "man".

Notable people with the surname include:

Al Gomes (born 1960), American music producer, music industry strategist, and songwriter

Albert Gomes (1911-1978), Trinidad and Tobago politician, labour leader and author

Ana Maria Gomes (born 1954), Portuguese politician

Antônio Carlos Gomes (1836-1896), Brazilian composer

António Gomes Leal (1848-1921), Portuguese poet

Anthony Gomes (born 1970), Canadian musician

Bruno Gomes (born 1996), Brazilian footballer

Chandima Gomes (born 1966), Sri Lankan Sinhala Malaysian engineer, physicist and writer

Diogo Gomes (c. 1420-1500), Portuguese navigator and explorer

Eduardo Gomes (1896-1981), Brazilian soldier and politician

Fernão Gomes (15th century), Portuguese explorer and merchant

Francis Anthony Gomes (1931-2011), Bangladeshi Roman Catholic bishop

Francisco Luís Gomes (1829-1869), Indo-Portuguese physician, politician, writer, historian, and economist

Gene Gomes (1946-2018), American judge

Gomes de Sequeira (16th century), Portuguese explorer

Gomes Eanes de Zurara (c. 1410-1474), Portuguese chronicler

Harold Gomes (born 1933), American boxer

Heurelho Gomes (born 1981), Brazilian footballer

Jessica Gomes (born 1984), Australian model

Jonny Gomes (born 1980), American baseball player

José Alencar Gomes da Silva (1931-2011), Brazilian politician

Larry Gomes (born 1953), Trinidadian cricketer

Manuel Teixeira Gomes (1860-1941), Portuguese politician and president of Portugal

Manuel de Oliveira Gomes da Costa (1863-1929), Portuguese army officer, politician and president of Portugal

Marcelo Gomes (born 1979), Brazilian ballet dancer

Mario Gomes de Olivera (born 1962), Brazilian footballer

Miguel Gomes (born 1972), Portuguese fencer

Nádia Gomes (born 1996), Portuguese footballer

Nuno Gomes (born 1976), Portuguese footballer

Nuno Gomes (20th/21st century), Portuguese-born South African Scuba Diver

Peter J. Gomes (1942-2011), American clergyman

Pedro Gomes (born 1983), Portuguese triathlete

Ralph Gomes (born 1937), Guyanese track and field athlete

Ryan Gomes (born 1982), American basketball player

Soeiro Pereira Gomes (1909-1949), Portuguese writer

Venceslau Brás Pereira Gomes (1868-1966), Brazilian politician and president of Brazil

Yan Gomes (born 1987), Brazilian American baseball player

João do Canto e Castro

João do Canto e Castro da Silva Antunes (19 May 1862; Lisbon – 14 March 1934; Lisbon), commonly known simply as João do Canto e Castro was a Portuguese Navy officer and the fifth President of Portugal, during the First Portuguese Republic. He also briefly served as 67th Prime Minister of Portugal

List of Presidents of Portugal

The complete list of Presidents of the Portuguese Republic consists of the 20 heads of state in the history of Portugal since the 5 October 1910 revolution that installed a republican regime. This list includes not only those persons who were sworn into office as President of Portugal but also those who de facto served as head of state since 1910. This is the case of Teófilo Braga who served as President of the Provisional Government after the republican coup d'état. Also Sidónio Pais, Mendes Cabeçadas, Gomes da Costa, as well as Canto e Castro and Óscar Carmona in their early months, were not sworn into office as the President of the Republic, usually being the President of the Ministry (Prime Minister), but de facto accumulation this functions with that of the Head of State. See the notes for more information.

Marcelo 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 academic, journalist, and politician, currently serving as the 20th and current President of Portugal, since 9 March 2016. A member of the Social Democratic Party (PSD), Rebelo de Sousa has served as a government minister, parliamentarian in the Assembly of the Portuguese Republic, legal scholar, journalist, political analyst and pundit, gaining him nationwide recognition prior to his election.

Mozambique Company

The Mozambique Company (Portuguese: Companhia de Moçambique) was a royal company operating in Portuguese Mozambique that had the concession of the lands in the Portuguese colony corresponding to the present provinces of Manica and Sofala in central Mozambique.

The company was established the 11 February 1891 with a capital stock of about 5 million dollars obtained from financiers from Germany, the United Kingdom and South Africa. Isaacman and Isaacman report that the firm was capitalised at 40,000 pounds, and that British and French capital quickly predominated.

The concession was granted for a period of 50 years, during which the company could not only exploit the resources and existing manpower (partly through the chibalo system of forced labour) but also grant subconcessions. The company was granted the exclusive right to collect taxes, but was itself granted a 25-year tax exemption. In return the Portuguese state would receive 7.5% of the company's profits and 10% of the sold shares. The company was also required to settle 1,000 Portuguese families and provide education and public administration in its territory.

In practice, the company made only partial use of the prerogatives with which it had been bestowed; but this was balanced by the fact that it also met very few of its obligations. Having only limited capital, the company did little to develop the area, deriving most of its income from its ability to tax and its power to use conscripted labour on its plantations and for lease to adjacent estates. Resistance to the forced labour regime was a major cause of rebellions against the company which occurred in 1902 and 1917. Despite the company's obligation under its charter to provide forces to maintain law and order, it was unable to meet these crises, and on both occasions Portugal had to mount expensive interventions.

The Mozambique Company had its headquarters in Beira, where it controlled the public administration and the post offices. The company also founded a private bank, the Banco da Beira, which issued currency in pounds.

Because of its bad performance and because of the shift, under the Salazar regime, towards Portuguese control and away from international control of the economy, the company's concession was not renewed when it ran out in 1942. The Governor of Manica and Sofala commented:

They did nothing to develop the potential wealth of this entire region, preferring to plunder it and alienate the natives.

On 18 July 1942, the territory of Manica and Sofala passed to the Portuguese colonial authorities and the Mozambique Company continued to operate in the agricultural and commercial sectors.

On 20 October 1961, The Mozambique Company became the Grupo Entreposto Comercial de Moçambique, which transformed itself into a holding on 6 September 1972, with the participation of capital from other companies, including Entreposto-Gestão e Participações (SGPS) SA.

In 1939 the President of Portugal awarded the Grand Cross of the Order of the Colonial Empire to the company, the first time it had been awarded to a company.

Order of Liberty

The Order of Liberty (Portuguese: Ordem da Liberdade), is a Portuguese honorific civil order that distinguishes relevant services to the cause of democracy and liberty, in the defense of the values of civilization and human dignity. The order was created in 1976, after the Carnation Revolution of 1974 in which the corporatist authoritarian Estado Novo regime of António de Oliveira Salazar and Marcello Caetano was deposed. The Grand Collar can also be given by the President of Portugal to former Heads of State and others whose deeds are of an extraordinary nature and particular relevance to Portugal, making them worthy of such a distinction. This can include political acts, physical acts of defense for Portugal, or the good representation of Portugal in other countries.

Order of Prince Henry

The Order of Prince Henry (Portuguese: Ordem do Infante Dom Henrique) is a Portuguese order of knighthood created on 2 June 1960, to commemorate the quincentenary of the death of the Portuguese prince Henry the Navigator, one of the main initiators of the Age of Discovery. Minor reforms of the constitution of the Order occurred in 1962 and 1980.It is a five-tier order, whose titles are awarded for relevant services to Portugal and for services in the expansion of the Portuguese culture, its history and its values (with a particular focus on its maritime history). The number of members in each grade is restricted by its constitution, and titles are attributed by special decree by the Grand Master of the Order, i.e., the President of Portugal.

Sash of the Three Orders

The Sash of the Three Orders is the insignia of the Portuguese presidential magistracy, therefore it cannot be used outside the exercise of office of the President of the Portuguese Republic. It is a decoration that distinguishes the President as Grand Master of the Portuguese Republic honours system.

Óscar Carmona

António Óscar Fragoso Carmona, BTO, ComC, GCA, ComSE, (often called António Óscar de Fragoso Carmona, Portuguese pronunciation: [ɐ̃ˈtɔniu ˈɔʃkaɾ fɾɐˈɡozu kaɾˈmonɐ]; 24 November 1869 – 18 April 1951) was the 96th Prime Minister of Portugal and 11th President of Portugal (1926–1951), having been Minister of War in 1923.

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