Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa

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Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa

Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa em fevereiro de 2018.jpg
20th President of the Portuguese Republic
Assumed office
9 March 2016
Prime Minister António Costa
Preceded by Aníbal Cavaco Silva
President of the Social Democratic Party
In office
29 March 1996 1 May 1999
Preceded by Fernando Nogueira
Succeeded by José Manuel Barroso
Leader of the Opposition
In office
29 March 1996 1 May 1999
Prime Minister António Guterres
Preceded by Fernando Nogueira
Succeeded by José Manuel Barroso
Minister of Parliamentary Affairs
In office
12 June 1982 9 June 1983
Prime Minister Francisco Pinto Balsemão
Preceded by Fernando Amaral
Succeeded by António de Almeida Santos
Secretary of State for the Premiership
In office
4 September 1981 13 June 1982
Prime Minister Francisco Pinto Balsemão
Preceded byJosé Luís da Cruz Vilaça
Succeeded by Leonor Beleza
Personal details
Marcelo Nuno Duarte Rebelo de Sousa

(1948-12-12) 12 December 1948 (age 70)
Lisbon, Portugal
Political party Independent (2015–present)
Social Democratic Party (1975–2015)
Ana Cristina Motta Veiga
(m. 1972; sep.  1980)
Domestic partnerRita Amaral Cabral (1980–present)
Relatives Baltasar Rebelo de Sousa (Father)
Residence Belém Palace (official)
Cascais (private)
Alma mater University of Lisbon
Signature Signature Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa.svg

Marcelo Nuno Duarte Rebelo de Sousa (Portuguese pronunciation:  [mɐɾˈsɛlu ˈnunu ˈdwaɾtɨ ʁɨˈbelu dɨ ˈsozɐ] ), ComSE, GCIH (born 12 December 1948) is a Portuguese academic, journalist, and politician, currently serving as the 20th and current President of Portugal, since 9 March 2016. [1] A member of the Social Democratic Party (PSD), Rebelo de Sousa has served as a government minister, parliamentarian in the Assembly of the Portuguese Republic, legal scholar, journalist, political analyst and pundit, gaining him nationwide recognition prior to his election.

President of Portugal position

The President of the Portuguese Republic is the executive head of state of Portugal. The powers, functions and duties of prior presidential offices, and their relation with the Prime Minister and cabinets have over time differed with the various Portuguese constitutions.

Social Democratic Party (Portugal) political party in Portugal

The Social Democratic Party, founded as the Democratic Peoples' Party, is a liberal-conservative and liberal political party in Portugal. Commonly known by its colloquial initials PSD, on ballot papers its initials appear as its official form PPD/PSD, with the first three letters coming from the party's original name. Alongside the Socialist Party (PS), the PSD is one of the two major parties in Portuguese politics. Although branded as a social democratic party, the party is in practice a centre-right conservative party.

A minister is a politician who heads a government department, making and implementing decisions on policies in conjunction with the other ministers. In some jurisdictions the head of government is also a minister and is designated the "prime minister", "premier", "chief minister", "Chancellor" or other title.


Early life

Born in Lisbon, he is the eldest son of Baltasar Rebelo de Sousa (1921–2001) and his wife Maria das Neves Fernandes Duarte (1921–2003). He is named after his godfather, Marcelo Caetano, the last Prime Minister of the Estado Novo regime.

Lisbon Capital city in Lisbon Metropolitan Area, Portugal

Lisbon is the capital and the largest city of Portugal. With an estimated population of 505,526 within its administrative limits in an area of 100.05 km2, Lisbon's urban area extends beyond the city's administrative limits with a population of around 2.8 million people, being the 11th-most populous urban area in the European Union. About 3 million people live in the Lisbon Metropolitan Area, including the Portuguese Riviera,. It is mainland Europe's westernmost capital city and the only one along the Atlantic coast. Lisbon lies in the western Iberian Peninsula on the Atlantic Ocean and the River Tagus. The westernmost portions of its metro area form the westernmost point of Continental Europe, which is known as Cabo da Roca, located in the Sintra Mountains.

Baltasar Leite Rebelo de Sousa, GCIH was a Portuguese politician and a former minister and member of parliament and medicine professor.

Godparent person who sponsors a childs baptism

A godparent, in many denominations of Christianity, is someone who bears witness to a child's baptism and then aids in their catechesis, as well as their lifelong spiritual formation. In the past, in some countries, the role carried some legal obligations as well as religious responsibilities. In both religious and civil views, a godparent tends to be an individual chosen by the parents to take an interest in the child's upbringing and personal development, to offer mentorship or claim legal guardianship of the child should anything happen to the parents.

Rebelo de Sousa is a Professor and Publicist specialized in Constitutional law and Administrative Law, earning his doctorate at University of Lisbon, where he taught Law. [2]

Professor academic title at universities and other post-secondary education and research institutions in most countries

Professor is an academic rank at universities and other post-secondary education and research institutions in most countries. Literally, professor derives from Latin as a "person who professes" being usually an expert in arts or sciences, a teacher of the highest rank.

A publicist is a person whose job is to generate and manage publicity for a company, a brand, or public figure – especially a celebrity – or for a work such as a book, film, or album. Publicists are public-relations specialists who have the role to maintain and represent the images of individuals, rather than representing an entire corporation or business. Publicists are also hired by public figures who want to maintain or protect their image. Publicists brand their clients by getting magazine, TV, newspaper, and website coverage. Most top-level publicists work in private practice, handling multiple clients.

Constitutional law body of law

Constitutional law is a body of law which defines the role, powers, and structure of different entities within a state, namely, the executive, the parliament or legislature, and the judiciary; as well as the basic rights of citizens and, in federal countries such as the United States and Canada, the relationship between the central government and state, provincial, or territorial governments.

Party politics and media career

Rebelo de Sousa started his career during the Estado Novo as a lawyer, and later as a journalist. He joined the Popular Democratic Party, becoming a Deputy to the Assembly of the Republic. During that time, he helped draft Portugal's constitution in 1976. [3] Later he rose to Adjoint Minister of Prime Minister Francisco Pinto Balsemão. Together with him he was a Co-Founder, Director and Administrator of the Expresso newspaper, owned by Pinto Balsemão. He was also the Founder of Sedes and the Founder and President of the Administration Council of another newspaper, Semanário . He started as a political analyst and pundit on TSF radio with his Exams, in which he gave marks (0 to 20) to the main political players.

<i>Estado Novo</i> (Portugal) 1933-1974 authoritarian regime in Portugal

The Estado Novo, or the Second Republic, was the corporatist far-right regime installed in Portugal in 1933. It was deeply rooted in Catholic social thought that was highly influential among both liberals and conservatives in Portugal. It evolved from the Ditadura Nacional formed after the coup d'état of 28 May 1926 against the democratic and unstable First Republic. Together, the Ditadura Nacional and the Estado Novo are recognised as the Second Portuguese Republic. The Estado Novo, greatly inspired by conservative and autocratic ideologies, was developed by António de Oliveira Salazar, President of the Council of Ministers of Portugal from 1932 to 1968, when illness forced him out of office. After 1945, his corporatist economic model was less and less useful and it retarded economic modernization.

Lawyer legal professional who helps clients and represents them in a court of law

A lawyer or attorney is a person who practices law, as an advocate, attorney, attorney at law, barrister, barrister-at-law, bar-at-law, canonist, canon lawyer, civil law notary, counsel, counselor, counsellor, solicitor, legal executive, or public servant preparing, interpreting and applying law, but not as a paralegal or charter executive secretary. Working as a lawyer involves the practical application of abstract legal theories and knowledge to solve specific individualized problems, or to advance the interests of those who hire lawyers to perform legal services.

Journalist person who collects, writes and distributes news and other information

A journalist is a person who collects, writes, or distributes news or other current information to the public. A journalist's work is called journalism. A journalist can work with general issues or specialize in certain issues. However, most journalists tend to specialize, and by cooperating with other journalists, produce journals that span many topics. For example, a sports journalist covers news within the world of sports, but this journalist may be a part of a newspaper that covers many different topics.

In 1989 he ran for Mayor of the Municipal Chamber of Lisbon (Mayor of Lisbon) but lost to Jorge Sampaio, though he did win a seat as City Councilor ( Vereador ). In that campaign he took a plunge into the waters of the Tagus River to prove they were not polluted despite claims to the contrary.

In many countries, a mayor is the highest-ranking official in a municipal government such as that of a city or a town.

Jorge Sampaio President of Portugal

Jorge Fernando Branco de Sampaio, GColTE, GCIH, GColL is a Portuguese lawyer and politician who was the 18th President of Portugal from 1996 to 2006.

Water pollution Contamination of water bodies

Water pollution is the contamination of water bodies, usually as a result of human activities. Water bodies include for example lakes, rivers, oceans, aquifers and groundwater. Water pollution results when contaminants are introduced into the natural environment. For example, releasing inadequately treated wastewater into natural water bodies can lead to degradation of aquatic ecosystems. In turn, this can lead to public health problems for people living downstream. They may use the same polluted river water for drinking or bathing or irrigation. Water pollution is the leading worldwide cause of death and disease, e.g. due to water-borne diseases.

Leader of the PSD, 1996–1999

Rebelo de Sousa was leader of the Social Democratic Party from 31 March 1996 to 27 May 1999 (some weeks before his election as party leader, he declared he would not be a leadership candidate, "not even if Christ came down to Earth"). He created a center-right coalition, the Democratic Alliance, with the People's Party in 1998. He became, however, the Vice-President of the European People's Party–European Democrats. The coalition did not please large parts of its own party, due to the role the People's Party leader, Paulo Portas, had in undermining Cavaco Silva's government while director of the weekly O Independente .

Earth Third planet from the Sun in the Solar System

Earth is the third planet from the Sun, and the only astronomical object known to harbor life. According to radiometric dating and other sources of evidence, Earth formed over 4.5 billion years ago. Earth's gravity interacts with other objects in space, especially the Sun and the Moon, Earth's only natural satellite. Earth orbits around the Sun in 365.26 days, a period known as an Earth year. During this time, Earth rotates about its axis about 366.26 times.

Democratic Alliance (Portugal) political party in Portugal

The Democratic Alliance was a centre-right conservative political alliance, in Portugal, between the Social Democratic Party (PPD/PSD), the Democratic and Social Centre (CDS) and the People's Monarchist Party (PPM) existing between 1979 and 1983.

Paulo Portas Portuguese politician

Paulo de Sacadura Cabral Portas, is a Portuguese media and political figure, who has, since the 1990s, been Portugal's leading conservative politician. He was the leader of Portugal's only politically to-the-right major party, the CDS – People's Party (CDS-PP) from 1998-2005 and 2007-2016, on whose lists he was elected to the Portuguese Parliament in every legislative election between 1995 and 2015. He was Deputy Prime Minister from 2013 to 2015, Minister of State and Foreign Affairs from 2011 to 2013, and Minister of Defence from 2002 to 2005, all three times in coalitions of the PSD and his CDS-PP. Portas withdrew from politics in 2016 and is rumored to run for president of the Portuguese republic in 2026.

Rebelo de Sousa resigned after Portas, in a TV interview, described a private talk they had had concerning this matter. Portas claimed Marcelo, as an anonymous source for O Independente, described in great detail a dinner where he was not present, down to the menu (which included vichyssoise, a cold soup); when Paulo Portas later reneged on the decision of the coalition established between their parties — which was made before that dinner — the term "vichyssoise" became a reference to that "revenge served cold". For these and other inconsistencies, he was called by Manuel Maria Carrilho political gelatin . A speech, in which he condemned the Portuguese habit of expecting a Messiah and a Dom Sebastião, was not well taken. The failure of the coalition led to his public and televised demission.


In other local elections, he also became the President of the Municipal Assembly of Cascais and the President of the Municipal Assembly of Celorico de Basto.

He had a weekly program of political analysis every Sunday on public TV station RTP after previously having a similar program on the private TV station TVI, where he was introduced as being "the wisest and most perspicacious political analyst of current times". His comments covered everything from politics to sports, including his famous presentations and comments on the newest published books, and they were sometimes controversial, some of the comments being seen as personal and political attacks.

In his analysis, still in TVI, he often attacked Pedro Santana Lopes, accusing him of being "truculent, a cudgeller and resentful", and not "having the profile to be a President of the Republic". This animosity remained until after Santana Lopes became Prime Minister, with a particular commentary on his performance finishing with the statement that he was "worse than the worst Guterres" and that he was "making Guterres look better and pushing them to Belém", leading to a response from Santana Lopes' Government Speaker Rui Gomes da Silva, who accused him of an "involuntary cabal". The president of the network, Miguel Pais do Amaral, asked in a private dinner that Marcelo be more moderate in his attacks, something that Marcelo took as a form of censorship, leading to his exit from the program and the channel. It was after that episode that he was hired by RTP.

Partially in consequence of these events, President Jorge Sampaio dissolved the Assembly of the Republic, a move that also meant dismissing the Government at a time when it had a stable coalition majority, and calling for anticipated elections, which led to the defeat of Santana Lopes and the election of the Socialists under José Sócrates.

President-elect Marcelo de Sousa delivers his victory speech on election night, 24 January 2016 Discurso de vitoria eleitoral de Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa 2016-01-24.png
President-elect Marcelo de Sousa delivers his victory speech on election night, 24 January 2016

In 2010, he left RTP and returned to TVI to do the same program that he had before.

He was made a Member of the Council of State, by President Cavaco Silva, and was sworn-in on 6 April 2006. [4]

He was a leading figure on the pro-life side of the 2007 abortion referendum. He even founded a website titled "Assim Não" (Not like this), which was divulged with a famous introductory video. [5] It became so well known that it was parodied in Saturday Night Live-fashion by famous humour group Gato Fedorento. [6]

President of Portugal, 2016–present

On 24 January 2016, Rebelo de Sousa was elected as President of Portugal in the first round of voting. He stood as an independent, appealing for moderation and cross-party consensus. [7] During his election campaign, he promised to repair political divisions and the hardship of Portugal's 2011–14 bailout. Unlike his predecessor, Anibal Cavaco Silva, he had never previously held a top state position. [8]

Following a historic agreement with the Republic of Portugal in 2015, His Highness the Aga Khan IV officially designated the premises located at Rua Marquês de Fronteira in Lisbon — the Henrique de Mendonça Palace — as the Seat of the Ismaili Imamat on July 11, 2018, and declared that it be known as the "Diwan of the Ismaili Imamat". Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa has also offered the Aga Khan Portuguese nationality.

State visits

First state visit as President of Portugal (Vatican, March 2016) Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa e Papa Francisco.png
First state visit as President of Portugal (Vatican, March 2016)
Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, President of Portugal, with Vladimir Putin, President of Russia, in the Kremlin in Moscow, 20 June 2018. President of Portugal Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa & President of Russia Vladimir Putin in the Kremlin in Moscow, 20 June 2018. (01).jpg
Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, President of Portugal, with Vladimir Putin, President of Russia, in the Kremlin in Moscow, 20 June 2018.
Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa with Donald Trump, the President of the United States, in the White House in Washington, D.C., 27 June 2018. Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa e Donald Trump 2018-06-27 (cropped).png
Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa with Donald Trump, the President of the United States, in the White House in Washington, D.C., 27 June 2018.

Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, as President of Portugal, has visited the Vatican, Spain, Mozambique, Morocco, Brazil, Switzerland, Cuba, United Kingdom, Greece and Angola. The first visit was to the Vatican City to meet the Pope Francis and the Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin. [9] [10] [11] [12] [13] [14] [15]

Health issues

On 28 December 2017, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa was admitted at Curry Cabral Hospital, in Lisbon, where he was subjected to a surgery to treat an umbilical hernia. [16] The procedure was performed by Eduardo Barroso, [17] a veteran surgeon who is also a close friend of the President since early childhood. After the surgery, Barroso informed the press that all went well and that Marcelo's condition had been known for at least six years, also referring that the surgery was initially due to occur on 4 January 2018. However, on the morning of 28 December, the President felt abdominal pain, and an examination by his official physician, Daniel Matos, revealed that the hernia was incarcerated and required immediate surgery. On 29 December, the Presidency official website published a clinical report, informing that Marcelo was cheerful and recovering well. [18] Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa was discharged from hospital on 31 December by 12:45 PM, and left the premises by his own foot, while greeted and applauded by some hospital staff and other patients. He lauded the Portuguese National Health Service, considering it an important conquest of democracy. [19]

On 23 June 2018, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa felt indisposed and collapsed after a visit to Bom Jesus do Monte sanctuary in Braga, in a day where temperatures were close to 40ºC. He was transported to the hospital where, after several exams, it was revealed the incident was caused by a sudden drop in blood pressure alongside an acute gastroenteritis. [20] He was discharged from hospital later on the same day and was told to rest for some days. [21]


National orders

As President of Republic:

Personal orders:

Foreign orders

Personal life

On 27 July 1972, in the parish of São Bento do Mato in Évora, Rebelo de Sousa married Ana Cristina da Gama Caeiro da Mota Veiga, born in the parish of Santos-o-Velho in Lisbon, on 4 June 1950, daughter of António da Mota Veiga and Maria Emília da Gama Caeiro and current widow without issue of Jorge Manuel Vassalo Sors Lagrifa (7 May 1948 – 2 February 2005), maternal grandson of Manuel António Vassalo e Silva, with whom he had two children:

He separated later in 1980, but has never divorced due to his religious belief. He has started dating his former pupil, in the 1980s, who was at the time his fellow lecturer at the Faculty of Law of the University of Lisbon. They are still dating, but living separately. [35]

He claims to sleep only 4 to 5 hours daily. He also claims to read 2 books a day and is an avid surfer at the Guincho Beach in Cascais, on the Portuguese Riviera. He has stated to be a fan of classical music, especially of Giuseppe Verdi.

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Government offices
Preceded by
José Luís da Cruz Vilaça
Secretary of State for the Premiership
Succeeded by
Leonor Beleza
Preceded by
Fernando Amaral
Minister of Parliamentary Affairs
Succeeded by
António de Almeida Santos
Political offices
Preceded by
Fernando Nogueira
Leader of the Opposition
Succeeded by
José Manuel Barroso
Preceded by
Aníbal Cavaco Silva
President of Portugal
Party political offices
Preceded by
Fernando Nogueira
President of the Social Democratic Party
Succeeded by
José Manuel Barroso