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Government - Portugal


Country name:
conventional long form: Portuguese Republic
conventional short form: Portugal
local long form: Republica Portuguesa
local short form: Portugal

Government type:
republic; parliamentary democracy

Capital:
name: Lisbon
geographic coordinates: 38 43 N, 9 08 W
time difference: UTC 0 (5 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October

Administrative divisions:
18 districts (distritos, singular - distrito) and 2 autonomous regions* (regioes autonomas, singular - regiao autonoma); Aveiro, Acores (Azores)*, Beja, Braga, Braganca, Castelo Branco, Coimbra, Evora, Faro, Guarda, Leiria, Lisboa (Lisbon), Madeira*, Portalegre, Porto, Santarem, Setubal, Viana do Castelo, Vila Real, Viseu

Independence:
1143 (Kingdom of Portugal recognized); 5 October 1910 (republic proclaimed)

National holiday:
Portugal Day (Dia de Portugal), 10 June (1580); note - also called Camoes Day, the day that revered national poet Luis de Camoes (1524-80) died

Constitution:
adopted 2 April 1976; subsequently revised
note: the revisions placed the military under strict civilian control, trimmed the powers of the president, and laid the groundwork for a stable, pluralistic liberal democracy; and they allowed for the privatization of nationalized firms and the government-owned communications media

Legal system:
based on civil law system; the Constitutional Tribunal reviews the constitutionality of legislation; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations

Suffrage:
18 years of age; universal

Executive branch:
chief of state: President Anibal CAVACO SILVA (since 9 March 2006)
head of government: Prime Minister Jose SOCRATES Carvalho Pinto de Sousa (since 12 March 2005)
cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president on the recommendation of the prime minister
(For more information visit the World Leaders website )
note: there is also a Council of State that acts as a consultative body to the president
elections: president elected by popular vote for a five-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held 22 January 2006 (next to be held in January 2011); following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party or leader of a majority coalition is usually appointed prime minister by the president
election results: Anibal CAVACO SILVA elected president; percent of vote - Anibal CAVACO SILVA 50.6%, Manuel ALEGRE 20.7%, Mario Alberto Nobre Lopes SOARES 14.3%, Jeronimo DE SOUSA 8.5%, Franciso LOUCA 5.3%

Legislative branch:
unicameral Assembly of the Republic or Assembleia da Republica (230 seats; members are elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms)
elections: last held 27 September 2009 (next to be held in fall 2013)
election results: percent of vote by party - PS 42%, PSD 35%, CDS/PP 9%, BE 7%, CDU 7%; seats by party - PS 97, PSD 81, CDS/PP 21, BE 16, CDU 15

Judicial branch:
Supreme Court (Supremo Tribunal de Justica); judges appointed for life by the Conselho Superior da Magistratura

Political parties and leaders:
Democratic and Social Center/Popular Party or CDS/PP [Paulo PORTAS]; Ecologist Party ("The Greens") or PEV [leadership commission elected by members]; Portuguese Communist Party or PCP [Jeronimo DE SOUSA]; Portuguese Socialist Party or PS [Jose SOCRATES Carvalho Pinto de Sousa]; Social Democratic Party or PSD [Manuela FERREIRA LEITE]; The Left Bloc or BE [Franciso Anacleto LOUCA]; Unitarian Democratic Coalition or CDU [Jeronimo DE SOUSA] (includes PCP and PEV)

Political pressure groups and leaders:
the media; labor unions

International organization participation:
ADB (nonregional member), AfDB (nonregional member), Australia Group, BIS, CE, CERN, CPLP, EAPC, EBRD, EIB, EMU, ESA, EU, FAO, FATF, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC, LAIA (observer), MIGA, NATO, NEA, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OPCW, OSCE, Paris Club (associate), PCA, Schengen Convention, SECI (observer), UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNIFIL, Union Latina, UNMIT, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WEU, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC

Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Joao DE VALLERA
chancery: 2012 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20036
telephone: [1] (202) 328-8610
FAX: [1] (202) 462-3726
consulate(s) general: Boston, New York, Newark (New Jersey), San Francisco
consulate(s): New Bedford (Massachusetts), Providence (Rhode Island)

Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires David BALLARD
embassy: Avenida das Forcas Armadas, 1600-081 Lisbon
mailing address: Apartado 43033, 1601-301 Lisboa; PSC 83, APO AE 09726
telephone: [351] (21) 727-3300
FAX: [351] (21) 726-9109
consulate(s): Ponta Delgada (Azores)

Flag description:
two vertical bands of green (hoist side, two-fifths) and red (three-fifths) with the national coat of arms (armillary sphere and Portuguese shield) centered on the dividing line; explanations for the color meanings are ambiguous, but a popular interpretation has green symbolizing hope and red the blood of those defending the nation

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