The political system in Portugal
Aníbal Cavaco Silva
President of the Republic
(in a business seminar in Bangalore, 2007)
Speaker of the Parliament
Pedro Passos Coelho
- Portugal is a democratic republic, with Lisbon, the nation's largest city, as its capital. Portugal has no state religion, making it a secular state.
- The political system comprises the President of the Republic, the Parliament (Assembly of the Republic), the Government (their logos and website links are at the left of this text), and the courts. The constitution grants the division or separation of powers between legislative, executive, and judicial branches.
- The President, elected to a five year term, has a supervising non-executive role.
- The current President, re-elected for a second term on January 23, 2011, is Aníbal Cavaco Silva.
- The President is also commander-in-chief of the armed forces. Presidential powers include appointing the Prime Minister and Council of Ministers, guided by the results of parliamentary elections; dismissing the PM; dissolving Parliament and calling early elections; vetoing legislation, which may be overridden by the assembly; and declaring a state of war or siege.
- The Parliament is composed of 230 MPs elected for four-year terms.
- The Parliament in Lisbon, as well as those in the Azores and Madeira autonomous regions, have for decades been dominated by two political parties, the Socialist Party, currently in power, and the Social Democratic Party. Minority parties Unitarian Democratic Coalition (Portuguese Communist Party plus Ecologist Party "The Greens"), Bloco de Esquerda (The Left Bloc) and CDS-PP (Popular Party) are also represented in Parliament and in local governments.
- The government is headed by the social-democrat Pedro Passos Coelho, who won the June 5th 2011 elections, in coalition with the Popular Party, headed by Paulo Portas, now Minister for Foreign Affairs.
- The courts are organized in categories comprising the judicial, administrative, and fiscal branches. The supreme courts are courts of last appeal. And a 13-member Constitutional Court oversees the constitutionality of the laws.