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Assembly of the Republic
'Assembleia da República'
Coat of arms or logo.Coat of arms or logo.
Type
Type Unicameral
Leadership
President of the Assembly Jaime Gama, Socialist
since 27 September 2009
Structure
Members 230
Portuguese AR 2009-2013.jpg
Political groups PS, PSD, CDS-PP, BE, PCP, PEV
Election
Last election 27 September 2009
Meeting place
Parlamento-IPPAR1.jpg
São Bento Palace, Lisbon, Portugal
Website
Assembleia da República

The Assembly of the Republic (Portuguese: Assembleia da República, pronounced [ɐsẽˈblɐiɐ dɐ ʁɛˈpublikɐ]) is the Portuguese parliament. It is located in a historical building in Lisbon, referred to as Palácio de São Bento, the site of an old Benedictine monastery. The Palace of São Bento was formerly known as the seat of the National Assembly (Assembleia Nacional) during the Estado Novo regime.

According to the Portuguese Constitution, the unicameral Assembly "is the representative assembly of all Portuguese citizens." The constitution names the assembly as one of the country's organs of supreme authority.

Contents

Powers and duties of the Assembly

The Assembly of the Republic's power derives from its power to dismiss a government through a vote of no confidence, to change the country's laws, and to amend the constitution (this one requires a majority of two-thirds). In addition to these key powers, the constitution grants to the Assembly extensive legislative powers and substantial control over the budget, the right to authorize the government to raise taxes and grant loans, the power to ratify treaties and other kinds of international agreements, and the duty to approve or reject decisions by the President of the Republic to declare war and make peace. The assembly also appoints many members of important state institutions, such as ten of the thirteen members of the Constitutional Court and seven of the sixteen members of the Council of State.

The constitution requires the assembly to quickly review and approve an incoming government's program. Parliamentary rules allow the assembly to call for committees of inquiry to examine the government's actions. Political opposition represented in the assembly has the power to review the cabinet's actions, even though it is unlikely that the actions can be reversed. Party groups can also call for interpellations that require debates about specific government policies.

Structure

The assembly consisted at first of 250 members, but the constitutional reforms of 1989 reduced its number to between 180 and 230. Members are elected by popular vote for legislative terms of four years from the country's twenty-two constituencies (eighteen in mainland Portugal corresponding to each district, one for each autonomous regions, Azores (Portuguese: Açores) and Madeira, one for Portuguese living in Europe and a last one for those living in the rest of the world. Except for the constituencies for Portuguese living abroad, which are fixed at two members each, the number of voters registered in a constituency determines the number of its members in the assembly, using the D'Hondt method of proportional representation. Constituencies vary greatly in size; from as large as the district of Lisbon, which returns 48 representatives, to as small as the district of Portalegre, which elects just two.

São Bento Palace, home of the Portuguese Parliament.
Portugal

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According to the constitution, members of the assembly represent the entire country, not the constituency from which they are elected. This directive was reinforced in practice by the strong role of political parties in regard to members of the assembly. Party leadership, for example, determined in which areas candidates were to run for office, thus often weakening members' ties to their constituencies. Moreover, members of the assembly were expected to vote with their party and to work within parliamentary groups based on party membership. Party discipline was strong, and insubordinate members could be coerced through a variety of means. A further obstacle to members' independence was that their bills first had to be submitted to the parliamentary groups, and it was these group leaders who set the assembly's agenda.

The President of the Assembly of the Republic is the second hierarchical figure in the Portuguese state and is usually nominated by the party that holds the majority of the seats, the President is aided by four vice-presidents, nominated by the other parties represented in the parliament and is usually the speaker, when he is not present, one of the vice-presidents takes the role of speaker. When the President of the Republic is, for any reason, unable to perform to job, the President of the Assembly of the Republic becomes his substitute.

Latest election

e • d 
Portuguese legislative election, 2009 (September 27)
Party Votes % +/- Seats +/-
PS
2,077,238
36.56
-8.4
97
-24
PSD
1,653,665
29.11
0.3
81
6
CDS/PP
592,778
10.43
3.1
21
9
BE
557,306
9.81
3.4
16
8
CDU
446,279
7.86
0.4
15
1
PCTP-MRPP
52,761
0.93
0.1
0
-
MEP
25,949
0.46
-
0
-
PND
21,876
0.38
-0.3
0
-
MMS
16,924
0.30
-
0
-
PPM
15,262
0.27
-
0
-
MPT-PH
12,405
0.22
-
0
-
PNR
11,503
0.20
0.0
0
-
PPV
8,461
0.15
-
0
-
PTP
4,974
0.09
-
0
-
POUS
4,632
0.08
-0.1
0
-
MPT
3,265
0.06
-
0
-
Blank Ballots
99,086
1.74
-
-
-
Invalid Ballots
76,894
1.35
-
-
-
Total
5,681,258
100.00
-
230
-
  • Registered Voters: 9,519,921
  • Turnout: 59.68%

Source: [1]

Note:

  • CDU is composed by the PCP (Communist), the PEV (Green) and the ID
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Distribution by constituency

e • d 
Constituency PS PSD CDS-PP BE CDU
Azores 39.7 3 35.7 2 10.3 - 7.3 - 2.2 -
Aveiro 33.8 6 34.6 7 13.0 2 9.0 1 3.8 -
Beja 34.9 2 14.6 - 5.7 - 10.0 - 29.1 1
Braga 41.7 9 30.8 6 9.7 2 7.8 1 4.6 1
Bragança 33.0 1 40.6 2 12.6 - 6.2 - 2.4 -
Castelo Branco 41.0 2 29.8 2 8.4 - 9.1 - 5.1 -
Coimbra 38.0 4 30.6 4 8.8 1 10.8 1 5.7 -
Évora 35.0 1 19.0 1 6.4 - 11.1 - 22.3 1
Faro 31.9 3 26.2 3 10.7 1 15.3 1 7.8 -
Guarda 36.0 2 35.6 2 11.2 - 7.6 - 3.3 -
Leiria 30.1 4 34.9 4 12.6 1 9.5 1 5.1 -
Lisbon 36.4 19 25.1 13 11.0 5 10.8 5 9.9 5
Madeira 19.4 1 48.1 4 11.1 1 6.2 - 4.2 -
Portalegre 38.3 1 23.8 1 8.0 - 10.8 - 12.9 -
Porto 41.8 18 29.2 12 9.3 4 9.2 3 5.7 2
Santarém 33.7 4 27.0 3 11.2 1 11.8 1 9.2 1
Setúbal 34.0 7 16.4 3 9.1 1 14.0 2 20.1 4
Viana do Castelo 36.3 3 31.3 2 13.6 1 8.6 - 4.2 -
Vila Real 36.1 2 41.1 3 10.1 - 5.5 - 2.9 -
Viseu 34.7 4 37.5 4 13.4 1 6.5 - 2.9 -
Europe 43.3 1 23.8 1 4.7 - 4.7 - 4.4 -
Rest of the World 22.0 - 54.5 2 3.2 - 2.0 - 1.0 -
Total 36.6 97 29.1 81 10.4 21 9.8 16 7.9 15

President of the Constituent Assembly

e • d 
# President Party Term
1
Henrique Teixeira de Queirós de Barros
PS
1975 - 1976

Presidents of the Assembly of the Republic

e • d 
# President Party Term
1
Vasco da Gama Fernandes
PS
1976 - 1978
2
Teófilo Carvalho dos Santos
PS
1978 - 1980
3
Leonardo Eugénio Ramos Ribeiro de Almeida
PSD
1980 - 1981
4
Francisco Manuel Lopes Vieira de Oliveira Dias
CDS
1981 - 1982
5
Leonardo Eugénio Ramos Ribeiro de Almeida
PSD
1982 - 1983
6
Manuel Alfredo Tito de Morais
PS
1983 - 1984
7
Fernando Monteiro do Amaral
PSD
1984 - 1987
8
Victor Pereira Crespo
PSD
1987 - 1991
9
António Moreira Barbosa de Melo
PSD
1991 - 1995
10
António de Almeida Santos
PS
1995 - 2002
11
João Bosco Soares da Mota Amaral
PSD
2002 - 2005
12
Jaime José de Matos da Gama
PS
2005 - Present

See also

Notes

External links


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