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Concelho (Portuguese pronunciation: [kõˈsɐʎu, kõˈseʎu] ), is the Portuguese-language term for municipality, referring to the territorial division. In comparison, the word município (Portuguese pronunciation: [muniˈsipiu] ) refers to the organs of State. This differentiation is still in use in Portugal and some of its former overseas provinces, but is no longer in use in Brazil following the abolition of these organs, in favour of the French prefecture system. It is similar to borough and council.
After the civil parish (Portuguese : freguesias), the Portuguese concelho is the most stable territorial subdivision within the country, with over 900 years of history. Founded in the royal charters attributed to parcels and territorial enclaves, in order to establish a presence by the Crown, rather than personal fiefdoms of the nobility and aristocracy. This municipal institution changed throughout history: many were abolished and reconstituted based on the political necessity; first they were subject to the specifics of each charter (which varied based on conditions and circumstances), and then based on national laws established during the Liberal era.
Today, the municipalities are governed by the municípios, constituted by the Câmara Municipal (Municipal Chamber), its executive organ and by the Assembleia Municipal (Municipal Assembly), its deliberative body. The Câmara is the executive body that is charged with governing the territory and policies of the region. Owing to population, the municipal chamber can comprise a number of alderman (normally between 5 and 17) elected by lists, using direct, universal suffragan vote, based with or without political parties. The municipal assembly, sometimes parliament, is responsible principally for auditing the activities of the executive branch. Its members are elected by population and proportionally by civil parishes, using the same schema as the executive (by universal direct suffrage with or without political parties), but also represented by the presidents of the juntas de freguesia (civil parish council presidents).
Though a unitary state, the Portuguese model governance has undergone periods of centralized and decentralized tendencies:
Caldas da Rainha is a medium-sized city in the district of Leiria of Portugal. The city serves as the seat of the larger municipality of the same name and of the Comunidade Intermunicipal do Oeste. At the 2011 census, the municipality had a population of 51,729 in an area of 255.69 square kilometres (98.72 sq mi), with 30,343 residing in the city. Although the city itself lies about 10.5 kilometres (6.5 mi) inland, three of the municipality's civil parishes lie on the Atlantic Ocean. Caldas da Rainha is best known for its sulphurous hot springs and ceramic pottery.
The municipality is the second-level administrative subdivision of Portugal, as defined by the 1976 Constitution.
Administratively, Portugal is de jure unitary and decentralized state. Nonetheless, operationally, it is a highly centralized system with administrative divisions organized into three tiers. The State is organized under the principles of subsidiarity, local government autonomy, and democratic decentralization of the public service.
Freguesia, usually translated as "parish" or "civil parish", is the third-level administrative subdivision of Portugal, as defined by the 1976 Constitution. It is also the designation for local government jurisdictions in the former Portuguese overseas territories of Cape Verde and Macau. In the past, was also an administrative division of the other Portuguese overseas territories. The parroquia in the Spanish autonomous communities of Galicia and Asturias is similar to a freguesia.
A câmara municipal is a type of municipal governing body, existing in several countries of the Community of Portuguese Language Countries.
Odivelas is a city and a municipality in Lisbon metropolitan area, Portugal, in the Lisbon District and the historical and cultural Estremadura Province. The municipality is located 10 km northwest of Lisbon. The present Mayor is Hugo Martins, elected by the Socialist Party. The population in 2011 was 144,549, in an area of 26.54 km2 (10.25 sq mi).
Lajes das Flores is a municipality in the western part of the Azores; it includes the southern part of the island of Flores. To the north, where it is bordered by Santa Cruz das Flores. The population in 2011 was 1,504, in an area of 70.05 square kilometres (27.05 sq mi). Its municipal seat is in the parish of the same name.
By the end of Portuguese rule, Macau was administratively divided into two municipalities and seven civil parishes. Parishes were administrative subdivisions of the municipalities. After the 1999 handover to China, parishes are still officially recognized divisions but for symbolic reasons only.
Santa Marta de Penaguião is a Portuguese municipality in the district of Vila Real, in the northern region of Douro. The population in 2011 was 7,356, in an area of 69.28 km².
São Vicente is a municipality along the north-west coast of the island of Madeira.
Águeda is a city and a municipality in Portugal. According to the Portuguese 2011 census, the municipality of Águeda had 47,729 inhabitants, in an area of 335.27 km². The city proper had a population of 14,504, while the remainder is distributed in 11 parishes, within the Baixo Vouga Subregion.
Montijo is a municipality in Setúbal District in Portugal. Its name was Aldeia Galega do Ribatejo or simply Aldeia Galega until 1930. The population in 2011 was 51,222, in an area of 348.62 km2. The town of Montijo proper had a population of 25,719 in 2001.
Tarrafal is a concelho (municipality) of Cape Verde. It is situated in the northern part of the island of Santiago. Its seat is the town Tarrafal. Its population was 18,565 at the 2010 census, and its area is 120.8 km2.
Fafe is a municipality in the northern Portuguese district of Braga. The population in 2011 was 50,633, in an area of approximately (219.08 square kilometres. The city itself had a population of 14,144 in 2001. The present mayor is Raul Cunha, elected by the Socialist Party. The municipal holiday is May 16.
Póvoa de Lanhoso is a municipality in the district of Braga, Portugal. The population in 2011 was 21,886, in an area of 134.65 km².
Terras de Bouro is a municipality in the district of Braga in Portugal. The population in 2011 was 7,253, in an area of 277.46 km².
The subdivisions of Portugal are based on a complicated administrative structure. The second-level administrative division, after the 5 regions and 2 autonomous regions, is 308 municipalities (concelhos) which are further subdivided into 3091 civil parishes (freguesias).
The territory of Cape Verde is divided into 22 concelhos (municipalities), and subdivided into 32 freguesias.
Aljezur is a municipality in Portugal. The population in 2011 was 5,884, in an area of 323.50 km². The municipality comprises 4 parishes, and is located within the district of Faro.
The junta de freguesia is the executive body of a freguesia, a subdivision of each municipality of Portugal. The laws regulating the juntas de freguesia are Lei n.o 169/99, de 18 de Setembro and Lei n.o 5-A/2002 de 11 de Janeiro. Each junta has a President.