Portugal is a democratic state with a republican form of government. The head of state is the president, the highest legislative body is the parliament, the highest executive body is the government, and its head is the prime minister. The Constitution is in force in 1976, as amended in 1982, 1989, 1992 and 1997. Check computerminus for political system of Portugal.
Portugal is a parliamentary republic, where there is a mutual limitation of the powers of the president, government and parliament. The President is elected for a term of 5 years by Portuguese citizens over 18 years of age by universal secret suffrage for no more than 2 consecutive terms. Georges Sampaio has been President of the Republic since March 1996, and in January 2001 he was re-elected for a second term. The unicameral parliament (Assembly of the Republic) is elected for a term of 4 years and consists of 230 deputies. In the early parliamentary elections of March 17, 2002, 105 deputies were elected to the Assembly from the list of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), 96 from the Socialist Party (SP), 14 from the right-wing People’s Party (NP), and from the electoral bloc the Coalition of Democratic Unity ( KDE) led by the Portuguese Communist Party (PCP) – 12, from the Left Bloc – 3. Since April 2002, the Chairman of the Assembly – J. Bosco Mota Amaral (SDP). Members of Parliament are elected by universal secret suffrage by the citizens of the country over 18 years of age in accordance with the system of proportional representation. The prime minister is appointed by the president of the republic after hearing the parties represented in parliament and in accordance with the results of the vote. After the failure of the joint venture in December 2001 in the municipal elections, Prime Minister A. Guterres resigned. Since April 2001, the government has been headed by J. Manuel Durau Barroso (PSD). After the failure of the joint venture in December 2001 in the municipal elections, Prime Minister A. Guterres resigned. Since April 2001, the government has been headed by J. Manuel Durau Barroso (PSD). After the failure of the joint venture in December 2001 in the municipal elections, Prime Minister A. Guterres resigned. Since April 2001, the government has been headed by J. Manuel Durau Barroso (PSD).
Administratively, Portugal is divided into 18 administrative districts (“dishtritu”) and 2 autonomous regions – the Azores and the island of Madeira. 18 districts are located on the continental part of the country: Aveiro, Beja, Braga, Bragança, Viseu, Vila Real, Viana do Castelo, Guarda, Castelo Branco, Coimbra, Leiria, Lisbon, Portalegre, Porto, Santarem, Setubal, Faro, Evora. In turn, 18 districts are divided into 308 municipal districts (“conseil”), consisting of parishes (“freguesia”). The largest cities are Lisbon, Porto, Evora, Faro, Braga, Setubal, Coimbra.
An administrative district is headed by a governor appointed by the government. Its functions are very limited and apply mainly to emergencies. Municipal assemblies are elected in municipal districts, and municipal chambers (mayor’s offices) are the executive local bodies. In the last municipal elections in December 2001, the SDP received 39% of the vote and led 158 municipalities, the SP – 36% and 114 municipalities, respectively.
Since 1974, the administrative regions of the Azores and Madeira have been granted broad political, administrative, and economic autonomy. They have their own legislative assemblies, elected for 4 years, and regional governments. The central authority in the autonomous regions is represented by the Minister of the Republic. After the elections in the autonomies on October 15, 2002, the PSD is in power in Madeira, while the PS won in the Azores.
Out of a dozen and a half parties, the following have real influence: the Social Democratic Party, founded in 1974; The joint venture, the oldest in the country, was recreated in 1973; NP, right-wing populist, successor to the Social Democratic Center party, created in 1974; The PKP, founded in 1921, and the Left Bloc, which unites a number of radical left parties. Trade unions have 1.7 million members, these include the General Confederation of Portuguese Workers (about 1/2 of the members of trade unions), the General Union of Workers, and independent trade unions.
The foreign policy of Portugal is formed under the influence of factors arising from its membership in NATO, the EU, the OSCE and other European structures, and the traditional pro-Atlantic orientation. Traditional ties with Africa, Latin America and East Timor, whose independence was proclaimed in May 2002, are also taken into account. In December 1999, the former Portuguese territory of Macau (Maomen) was transferred to China as a special administrative region. Since 2002, the Portuguese chairmanship in the OSCE has been the axis of the country’s foreign policy activity.
The total number of the Armed Forces is 43.6 thousand people. (Ground Forces – 25.4 thousand people, Naval Forces – 10.8 thousand people and Air Force – 7.4 thousand people). The number of the National Republican Guard is 25.6 thousand people. The armed forces are recruited on the basis of universal military service (service life – 4 months, draft age – 20 years) and on a contract system, in the future it is planned to make a transition to a fully professional army. Military spending 2.0% of GDP, or $2.226 billion (2001). Near Lisbon is the headquarters of the NATO Regional Command in the South-East Atlantic. There is a US air base in the Azores, and a NATO naval base in Madeira.
In 1974 diplomatic relations were established with the USSR. On December 26, 1991, the Portuguese government decided to recognize the Russian Federation as a sovereign state, which assumed the entire set of rights and international obligations that belonged to the USSR. In 1994, the Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation was signed between the Russian Federation and Portugal. In October 2001 President PJ Sampaia paid an official visit to the Russian Federation.