Prime Minister of Portugal

Last updated
Prime Minister of
the Portuguese Republic
da República Portuguesa
Coat of arms of Portugal.svg
Flag of the Prime Minister of Portugal.svg
Antonio Costa 2014 (cropped).jpg
António Costa

since 26 November 2015
Style His Excellency [1]
(formal, diplomatic)
Mr. Prime Minister
Type Executive
Member of Council of State
Council of Ministers
European Council
Residence São Bento Mansion
Seat Lisbon, Portugal
Appointer President of Portugal
Term length Four years (Parliament can be dissolved sooner);
No term limits.
Constituting instrument Constitution of the
Third Republic
Inaugural holder Pedro de Sousa Holstein, Marquess of Palmela
Formation24 September 1834;184 years ago (1834-09-24)
Salary 70,023.52 (2015)
(€5,001.68/month) [2]
Coat of arms of Portugal.svg
This article is part of a series on the
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Foreign relations

Prime Minister (Portuguese: Primeiro-Ministro; pronounced  [pɾiˈmɐjɾu miˈniʃtɾu] ) is the current title of the head of government of Portugal. As head of government, the Prime Minister coordinates the actions of ministers, represents the Government of Portugal to the other bodies of state, is accountable to Parliament and keeps the President informed. The Prime Minister can hold the role of head of government with the portfolio of one or more ministries.

Portuguese language Romance language that originated in Portugal

Portuguese is a Western Romance language originating in the Iberian Peninsula. It is the sole official language of Portugal, Brazil, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique, Angola, and São Tomé and Príncipe. It also has co-official language status in East Timor, Equatorial Guinea and Macau in China. As the result of expansion during colonial times, a cultural presence of Portuguese and Portuguese creole speakers are also found in Goa, Daman and Diu in India; in Batticaloa on the east coast of Sri Lanka; in the Indonesian island of Flores; in the Malacca state of Malaysia; and the ABC islands in the Caribbean where Papiamento is spoken, while Cape Verdean Creole is the most widely spoken Portuguese-based Creole. Reintegrationists maintain that Galician is not a separate language, but a dialect of Portuguese. A Portuguese-speaking person or nation is referred to as "Lusophone" (Lusófono).

The head of government is either the highest or second highest official in the executive branch of a sovereign state, a federated state, or a self-governing colony, who often presides over a cabinet, a group of ministers or secretaries who lead executive departments. "Head of government" is often differentiated from "head of state", as they may be separate positions, individuals, or roles depending on the country.

Portugal Republic in Southwestern Europe

Portugal, officially the Portuguese Republic, is a country located mostly on the Iberian Peninsula in southwestern Europe. It is the westernmost sovereign state of mainland Europe, being bordered to the west and south by the Atlantic Ocean and to the north and east by Spain. Its territory also includes the Atlantic archipelagos of the Azores and Madeira, both autonomous regions with their own regional governments.


There is no limit to the number of terms a person can serve as Prime Minister. The Prime Minister is appointed by the President of the Republic following legislative elections, after having heard the parties represented in the Parliament. Usually, the person named is the leader of the largest party in the previous election, but there have been exceptions over the years.

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.


Since the Middle Ages, some officers of the Portuguese Crown gained precedence over the others, serving as a kind of prime ministers. Over time, the role of principal officer of the Crown fell upon the chanceler-mor (chancellor), the mordomo-mor (mayor of the palace) and the escrivão da puridade (king's private secretary).

Middle Ages Period of European history from the 5th to the 15th century

In the history of Europe, the Middle Ages lasted from the 5th to the 15th century. It began with the fall of the Western Roman Empire and merged into the Renaissance and the Age of Discovery. The Middle Ages is the middle period of the three traditional divisions of Western history: classical antiquity, the medieval period, and the modern period. The medieval period is itself subdivided into the Early, High, and Late Middle Ages.

Chancellor is a title of various official positions in the governments of many nations. The original chancellors were the cancellarii of Roman courts of justice—ushers, who sat at the cancelli or lattice work screens of a basilica or law court, which separated the judge and counsel from the audience. A chancellor's office is called a chancellery or chancery. The word is now used in the titles of many various officers in all kinds of settings. Nowadays the term is most often used to describe:

The first modern prime minister of Portugal was Pedro de Sousa Holstein, Marquess of Palmela, who was sworn in on 24 September 1834, as Presidente do Conselho de Ministros (President of the Council of Ministers). In 1911, the official title of the prime minister became Presidente do Ministério (President of the Ministry). In 1933, it became again Presidente do Conselho de Ministros.

In constitutional usage in Commonwealth realms and in some other systems, a ministry is a collective body of government ministers headed by a prime minister or premier, and also referred to as the head of government. It is described by the Oxford Dictionary as "a period of government under one prime minister". Although the term "cabinet" can in some circumstances be a synonym, a ministry can be a broader concept which might include office-holders who do not participate in cabinet meetings. Other titles can include "administration" or "government" to describe similar collectives.

The present title Primeiro-Ministro (Prime Minister), attributed to the head of the Government of Portugal, was officially established by the Constitution of 1976 after the revolution of 25 April 1974

Government of Portugal

The Government of Portugal is one of the four sovereignty bodies of the Portuguese Republic, together with the President of the Republic, the Assembly of the Republic and the courts. It is both the body of sovereignty that conducts the general politics of the country and the superior body of the Portuguese public administration.

Carnation Revolution revolution

The Carnation Revolution, also known as the 25th of April, was initially a 25 April 1974 military coup in Lisbon which overthrew the authoritarian Estado Novo regime. The revolution began as a coup organised by the Armed Forces Movement, composed of military officers who opposed the regime, but it was soon coupled with an unanticipated, popular civil resistance campaign. The revolution led to the fall of the Estado Novo, the end of 48 years of authoritarian rule in Portugal, and Portugal's withdrawal from its African colonies.

Office Holders

The incumbent Prime Minister of Portugal is António Costa, who took office on 26 November 2015 as the 13th Prime Minister of the Third Portuguese Republic. [3] The official residence of the Prime Minister is a mansion next to São Bento Palace, which, in confusion, is also often called "São Bento Palace".

António Costa Portuguese politician

António Luís Santos da CostaGCIH is a Portuguese lawyer and politician serving as the 119th and current Prime Minister of Portugal since 26 November 2015. Previously, he was Minister of Parliamentary Affairs from 1997 to 1999, Minister of Justice from 1999 to 2002, Minister of State and Internal Administration from 2005 to 2007, and Mayor of Lisbon from 2007 to 2015. He was elected as Secretary-General of the Socialist Party in September 2014.

Third Portuguese Republic

The Third Portuguese Republic is a period in the history of Portugal corresponding to the current democratic regime installed after the Carnation Revolution of 25 April 1974, that put an end to the paternal autocratic regime of Estado Novo of António de Oliveira Salazar and Marcello Caetano. It was initially characterized by constant instability and was threatened by the possibility of a civil war during the early post-revolutionary years. A new constitution was drafted, censorship was prohibited, free speech declared, political prisoners were released and major Estado Novo institutions were closed. Eventually the country granted independence to its African colonies and begun a process of democratization that led to the accession of Portugal to the EEC in 1986.

São Bento Palace in Lisbon is the seat of the Assembly of the Portuguese Republic, the parliament of Portugal. Originally constructed in 1598, São Bento has served as the seat of Portugal's parliament since 1834, when the former monastery of the Benedictine Order was dissolved after the Liberal Wars. During the Portuguese constitutional monarchy, the palace served as the seat of the Cortes Gerais, the traditional parliaments of Portugal, until 1910.

Portuguese Prime Ministers of the Third Portuguese Republic:

Graphical timeline (since 1974)

Prime Minister of Portugal

Prime Minister's Residence

The Sao Bento Mansion. Passos Coelho cumprimenta o Presidente Pena Nieto a porta do Palacete de Sao Bento 2014-06-06.png
The São Bento Mansion.

Just behind the main building of the Assembly of the Republic, there is a mansion that serves as residence and office for the Prime Minister of Portugal. The mansion, dated from 1877, was built within the garden of the old monastery that held the Portuguese Parliament. It has been the Prime Minister's official residence since 1938, when Salazar moved in. Although it is the official residence of the Prime Minister, not all incumbents have lived in the mansion during their term in office.

António Costa, current Prime Minister, doesn't live in the residence.

List of Prime Ministers of Portugal

Term of office in years

Living former Prime Ministers

As of January 2019, there are eight living former Prime Ministers of Portugal, as seen below.

The most recent Prime Minister to die was Mário Alberto Nobre Lopes Soares (served 1976–1978 and 1983–1985), on 7 January 2017 aged 92.

See also

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  1. United Nations Protocol and Liaison Service Public List: Heads of State – Heads of Government – Ministers For Foreign Affairs. Retrieved 14 October 2016.
  2. Miguel Santos (23 September 2015). "E agora um tema sensível: os políticos são mal pagos?". Observador (in Portuguese). Lisbon. Retrieved 12 October 2016. O mesmo se aplica ao primeiro-ministro: este ano, Pedro Passos Coelho recebe um salário mensal de 5.001,68 euros brutos, menos 12% do que recebia em 2010, antes dos cortes.
  3. "Portugal Socialist Costa named PM in left-wing coalition". BBC News. 24 November 2015. Retrieved 25 November 2015.