|Founder||Francisco Sá Carneiro|
|Founded||6 May 1974|
|Legalized||17 January 1975|
|Headquarters||Rua de S. Caetano à Lapa, 9,|
|Youth wing||Social Democratic Youth|
|Women's wing||Social Democratic Women|
|Workers wing||Social Democratic Workers|
|European affiliation||European People's Party|
|International affiliation||Centrist Democrat International|
|European Parliament group||European People's Party|
"Peace, Bread, People and Freedom"
|Assembly of the Republic|
79 / 230
6 / 21
42 / 104
| Local government|
98 / 308
| Local government|
1,164 / 3,085
The Social Democratic Party (Portuguese : Partido Social Democrata, pronounced [pɐɾˈtiðu susiˈaɫ dɨmuˈkɾatɐ] ; PSD) is a centre-right, liberal-conservative 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, the Democratic Peoples' Party (Partido Popular Democrático, PPD). Alongside the Socialist Party, the PSD is one of the two major parties in Portuguese politics.
The party was founded in 1974, two weeks after the Carnation Revolution and in 1976 adopted its current name. In 1979, the PSD allied with centre-right parties to form the Democratic Alliance and won that year's election. After the 1983 general election, the party formed a grand coalition with the Socialist Party, known as the Central Bloc, before winning the 1985 general election under new leader Aníbal Cavaco Silva, who shifted the party to the right. Cavaco Silva served as Prime Minister for ten years, instituting major economic liberalisation and winning two landslide victories. After he stepped down, the PSD lost the 1995 election. The party was returned to power under José Manuel Durão Barroso in 2002, but was defeated in the 2005 election. The party was able to return to power after the 2011 elections and four years later was able to win a plurality in the 2015 legislative election, winning 107 seats in the Assembly of the Republic in alliance with the CDS – People's Party, but being unable to form a minority government. The current leader, Rui Rio, a centrist, was elected on 13 January 2018.
Originally a social-democratic party, the PSD became the main centre-right, conservative party in Portugal.The PSD is a member of the European People's Party and the Centrist Democrat International. Until 1996, the PSD belonged to the European Liberal Democrat and Reform Party and Liberal International. The party publishes the weekly Povo Livre (Free People) newspaper.
The Social Democratic Party was born on 6 May 1974, when Francisco Sá Carneiro, Francisco Pinto Balsemão and Joaquim Magalhães Mota publicly announced the formation of what was then called the PPD, the Democratic People's Party (Portuguese : Partido Popular Democrático). On 15 May, the party's first headquarters were inaugurated in Largo do Rato, Lisbon. This was followed, on 24 June, by the formation of the first Political Committee, consisting of Francisco Sá Carneiro, Francisco Pinto Balsemão, Joaquim Magalhães Mota, Barbosa de Melo, Mota Pinto, Montalvão Machado, Miguel Veiga, Ferreira Júnior, António Carlos Lima, António Salazar Silva, Jorge Correia da Cunha, Jorge Figueiredo Dias and Jorge Sá Borges.
The Povo Livre publication was founded, its first issue being published on 13 July 1974, led by its first two directors, Manuel Alegria and Rui Machete. The PPD's first major meeting was held in the "Pavilhão dos Desportos", Lisbon, on 25 October, and a month later the party's first official congress took place.
On 17 January 1975, 6300 signatures were sent to the Supreme Court so that the party could be approved as a legitimate political entity, which happened a mere eight days later.
In 1975, the PPD applied unsuccessfully to join the Socialist International,with its membership attempt vetoed by the Socialist Party.
Alberto João Jardim was the co-founder of the Madeiran branch of the PSD, and governed the autonomous archipelago for decades, running as a member of the party.
The Social Democratic Party participated in a number of coalition governments in Portugal between 1974 and 1976, following the Carnation Revolution. This is seen as a transitional period in Portuguese politics, in which political institutions were built and took time to stabilize. In 1979, the PSD formed an electoral alliance, known as the Democratic Alliance (AD), with the Democratic and Social Centre (now called the People's Party, CDS-PP) and a couple of smaller right-wing parties. The AD won the parliamentary elections towards the end of 1979, and the PSD leader, Francisco Sá Carneiro, became Prime Minister. The PSD would be part of all governments until 1995. The AD increased its parliamentary majority in new elections called for 1980, but was devastated by the death of Sá Caneiro in an air crash on 4 December 1980. Francisco Pinto Balsemão took over the leadership of both the Social Democratic Party and the Democratic Alliance, as well as the Prime Ministership, but lacking Sá Carneiro's charisma, he was unable to rally popular support.
The Democratic Alliance was dissolved in 1983, and in parliamentary elections that year, the PSD lost to the Socialist Party (PS). Falling short of a majority, however, the Socialists formed a grand coalition, known as the Central Bloc, with the PSD. Many right-wingers in the PSD, including Aníbal Cavaco Silva, opposed participation in the PS-led government, and so, when Cavaco Silva was elected leader of the party on 2 June 1985, the coalition was doomed.
The PSD won a plurality (but not a majority) in the general election of 1985, and Cavaco Silva became Prime Minister. Economic liberalization and tax cuts ushered in several years of economic growth. After a motion of no confidence was approved, early elections were called for July 1987 which resulted in a landslide victory for the PSD, who captured 50.2% percent of the popular vote and 148 of the 250 parliamentary seats – the first time that any political party in Portugal had mustered an absolute majority in a free election. A strong economy, growing above 7% in 1988, ushered a big convergence between Portugal and other EU countries. The PSD won a historic 3rd term in the 1991 election, almost as easily as in 1987, but continuing high levels of unemployment and a lower economy, after 1993, eroded the popularity of the Cavaco Silva government.
Cavaco Silva stepped down as leader in January 1995. In the following month, in the PSD congress, the party elected Fernando Nogueira as leader. The PSD lost the 1995 election to the PS. In 1996, Cavaco Silva ran for the presidency of the republic, but he failed to defeat former Lisbon Mayor Jorge Sampaio. Sampaio won 53.9% to Cavaco's 46.1%. The party, for the first time in 16 years, was out of government. The party was again defeated in the 1999 elections.
The PSD made a comeback in 2002, however: despite falling short of a majority, the PSD won enough seats to form a coalition with the CDS-PP, and the PSD leader, José Manuel Durão Barroso, became Prime Minister. Durão Barroso later resigned his post to become President of the European Commission, leaving the way for Pedro Santana Lopes, a man with whom he was frequently at odds, to become leader of the party and Prime Minister.
In the parliamentary election held on 20 February 2005, Santana Lopes led the PSD to its worst defeat since 1983. With a negative swing of more than 12% percent, the party won only 75 seats, a loss of 30. The rival Socialist Party had won an absolute majority, and remained in government after the 2009 parliamentary election, albeit without an absolute majority, leaving the PSD in opposition.
The PSD-supported candidate Aníbal Cavaco Silva won the Portuguese presidential elections in 2006 and again in 2011. After the 2005 elections, Luís Marques Mendes was elected leader of the party. Internal infighting weakened Marques Mendes and, in September 2007, Marques Mendes was defeated by Luís Filipe Menezes by a 54% to 42% margin. Menezes was also incapable of dealing with his internal opposition and, after just six months in the job, Menezes resigned. On 31 May 2008, Manuela Ferreira Leite became the first female leader of a Portuguese major party. She won 38% of the votes, against the 31% of Pedro Passos Coelho and the 30% of Pedro Santana Lopes.
In the European Parliament election held on 7 June 2009, the PSD defeated the governing socialists, capturing 31.7% of the popular vote and electing eight MEPs, while the Socialist Party only won 26.5% of the popular vote and elected seven MEPs.
Although this was expected to be a "redrawing of the electoral map", the PSD has still defeated later that year, though the PS lost its majority. Pedro Passos Coelho was elected leader in March 2010, with 61% of the votes.
Growing popular disenchantment with the government's handling of the economic crisis coupled with the government's inability to secure the support of other parties to implement the necessary reforms to address the crisis, forced the Socialist Party Prime Minister José Sócrates to resign, leading to a fresh election on 5 June 2011. This resulted in a non-absolute majority for the PSD, leading to a coalition government with the CDS-PP, which served a full term until the 2015 general election. During this term, many austerity policies were put into practice to reduce the budget deficit but, ultimately, created unemployment and a recession that lasted until mid 2013. Since that date, the economy recovered starting to grow between 1 and 2% per trimester.
In the 2015 general election, the PSD and CDS-PP ran in a joint coalition, called Portugal Ahead, led by Pedro Passos Coelho and Paulo Portas. The coalition won the elections by a wide margin over the Socialists, capturing 38.6% of the votes while the Socialists captured only 32%, although the coalition lost 25 MPs and a more than 11% of the votes, thus falling well short of an absolute majority. The PSD/CDS-PP coalition was asked by the then President of the Republic, Aníbal Cavaco Silva, to form a government with Passos Coelho as Prime Minister.
The 2nd PSD/CDS government was duly formed and took the oath of office on 30 October 2015, but fell after a no-confidence motion was approved two weeks later. Its 11 days of rule make it the shortest-lived government since Portugal has been a democracy holding free elections. After that, the PSD returned to the opposition benches, and the Socialist Party was able to form an agreement with BE and CDU to support a PS minority government led by António Costa. Pedro Passos Coelho continued as party leader, but a weak opposition strategy led to bad polling numbers for the PSD. All of this culminated with the results of the 2017 local elections. In these elections, the PSD achieved their worst results ever, winning just 98 mayors and 30% of the votes. Passos Coelho announced he would not run for another term as PSD leader. On 13 January 2018, Rui Rio defeated Pedro Santana Lopes by a 54% to 46% margin and became the new party leader.
During his first year in the leadership, Rio faced big internal opposition and, in January 2019, Rio won a motion of confidence presented by Luís Montenegro. In the EP 2019 elections, the PSD achieved their worst result ever in a national election, winning just 22% of the votes. However, the party recovered a lot of ground in the October 2019 general elections, achieving 28% of the votes, against the 36% of the PS. Nonetheless, Rio's leadership was, once again, challenged and he faced, in a two round leadership contest in January 2020, Luís Montenegro and Miguel Pinto Luz. Rio won the 1st round with 49% of the votes and defeated Luís Montenegro in the 2nd round by 53% to 47% margin, thus being re-elected as party leader.
In the Azores 2020 regional elections, the PSD was able to return to power, after 24 years in opposition, by forging a controversial deal with CHEGA, plus CDS, PPM and IL. pp, compared with 2016, to 39%, an unexpected result, and overall the right wing parties had a 1 seat majority over all the left. After 2020, the PSD controls the governments of Portugal's only two autonomous regions.The PSD won almost 34% of the votes, while the PS fell more than 7
The party was founded based on classical social democracyand was a centre to centre-left party, but later it evolved into catch-all centre-right party. The party has been described as liberal-conservative, conservative, or conservative-liberal, with Christian democratic and liberal elements.
The PSD is frequently referred to as a party that is not ideology-based, but rather a power party (partido do poder).It frequently adopts a functional big tent party strategy to win elections. Due to this strategy, which most trace to Cavaco Silva's leadership, the party is made up of many factions, mostly centre-right (including liberal democrats, Christian democrats and neoconservatives) as well as quasi-social-democrats and former communists:
|Election||Assembly of the Republic||Government||Size||Leader|
81 / 250
|Constituent assembly||2nd||Francisco Sá Carneiro|
73 / 263
|1979||w. Democratic Alliance|
80 / 250
|1980||w. Democratic Alliance|
82 / 250
75 / 250
|7|| Central Bloc gov't |
|2nd||Carlos Mota Pinto|
88 / 250
|13||Minority gov't||1st||Aníbal Cavaco Silva|
148 / 250
135 / 230
88 / 230
81 / 230
|7||Opposition||2nd||José Manuel Durão Barroso|
105 / 230
|24|| Coalition gov't |
71 / 230
|34||Opposition||2nd||Pedro Santana Lopes|
81 / 230
|10||Opposition||2nd||Manuela Ferreira Leite|
108 / 230
|1st||Pedro Passos Coelho|
|2015||w. Portugal Ahead|
89 / 230
|19||Minority gov't (2015)||1st|
79 / 230
10 / 24
|1st||Pedro Santana Lopes|
9 / 24
9 / 25
|0||2nd||Eurico de Melo|
9 / 25
|0||2nd||José Pacheco Pereira|
|2004||w. Força Portugal|
7 / 24
|2||2nd||João de Deus Pinheiro|
8 / 22
|2014||w. Aliança Portugal|
6 / 21
6 / 21
21 / 57
|2||Coalition gov't |
21 / 47
Politics in Portugal unitary semi-presidential representative democratic republic, whereby the Prime Minister of Portugal is the head of government. Portugal has a multi-party system. The President of Portugal is the executive head of state and has several significant political powers, which he exercises often. Executive power is exercised by the President and the Council of Ministers. Legislative power is vested in both the government and the Assembly of the Republic. The Judiciary of Portugal is independent of the executive and the legislature.
The Socialist Party is a centre-left, social democratic political party in Portugal. It was founded on 19 April 1973 in the German city of Bad Münstereifel by militants from the Portuguese Socialist Action.
The CDS – People's Party is a conservative, Christian democratic political party in Portugal. It is characterized as being between the centre-right and right-wing of the political spectrum. In voting ballots, the party's name appears only as the People's Party, with the acronym CDS–PP unchanged.
Pedro Miguel de Santana Lopes GCC is a Portuguese lawyer and politician, who most notably served as Prime Minister of Portugal from 2004 to 2005.
Since the beginning of liberalism in Portugal in the 19th century, several parties have, by gaining representation in parliament, continued the liberal ideology in contemporary Portuguese politics. But after the initial fervor of the Liberal Revolution of 1820 and the outcome of the Liberal Wars (1828–1834) during the 19th century, liberalism was relegated to a secondary role in Portuguese politics and government and even outlawed for periods of time. The first fully-fledged liberal party founded as such to have a seat in the Portuguese Parliament since the 19th century, was Iniciativa Liberal, in 2019.
The Portuguese legislative election of 1991 took place on 6 October. The election renewed all 230 members of the Assembly of the Republic. There was a reduction of 20 seats compared with previous elections, due to the 1989 Constitutional revision.
The Portuguese legislative election of 1983 took place on 25 April. The election renewed all 250 members of the Assembly of the Republic.
Joaquim Fernando Nogueira, commonly known just as Fernando Nogueira, is a Portuguese lawyer and former politician.
Rui Fernando da Silva Rio, GCIH is a Portuguese politician and former Mayor of Porto. On 13 January 2018, he was elected President of the Social Democratic Party (PSD) with 54% of the votes, in which position he acts as the Leader of the Opposition.
The Democrats is a centre-right political party in Brazil. It was founded in 1985 under the name of Liberal Front Party from a dissidence of the defunct Democratic Social Party (PDS), successor to the National Renewal Alliance (ARENA), the official party during the military dictatorship of 1964–1985. It changed to its current name in 2007. The original name reflected the party's support of free market policies, rather than the identification with international liberal parties. Instead, the party affiliated itself to the international federations of Christian-democratic (CDI) and conservative parties (IDU). The Democrats' identification number is 25 and its colors are green, blue, and white.
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.
The European Parliament election of 2009 in Portugal was the election of the delegation from Portugal to the European Parliament held on 7 June 2009.
Aníbal António Cavaco Silva, GCC, GColL, is a Portuguese economist who served as the 19th President of Portugal, in office from 9 March 2006 to 9 March 2016. He had been previously Prime Minister of Portugal from 6 November 1985 to 28 October 1995. His 10-year tenure was the longest of any prime minister since António de Oliveira Salazar, and he was the first Portuguese prime minister to win an absolute parliamentary majority under the current constitutional system. He is best known for leading Portugal into the European Union.
The Portuguese legislative election of 2009 was held on 27 September, to renew all 230 members of the Assembly of the Republic. The Socialist Party, led by incumbent Prime Minister José Sócrates, won the largest number of seats, but didn't repeat the overall majority they gained in 2005.
The Portuguese legislative election of 2011 was held on 5 June, to elect all 230 members of the Assembly of the Republic. Pedro Passos Coelho led the centre-right Social Democratic Party to victory over the Socialist Party, led by incumbent Prime Minister José Sócrates. Despite a historically low turnout of less than 60% of registered voters, the right-wing won a clear mandate, winning nearly 130 MPs, more than 56% of the seats, and just over 50% of the vote. While the People's Party, continuing the trend they began in 2009, earned their best score since 1983, the Social Democrats exceeded the expected result in the opinion polls and won the same number of seats as they did in 2002, when the PSD was led by José Manuel Durão Barroso. Of the twenty districts of the country, Pedro Passos Coelho's party won seventeen, including Lisbon, Porto, Faro, Portalegre, Castelo Branco, Coimbra, Santarém and the Azores, that tend to favor the Socialist Party.
The Portuguese legislative election of 2015 was held on 4 October. All 230 seats of the Assembly of the Republic were in contention.
Social Democratic Youth is the youth organisation of the Social Democratic Party of Portugal and it is commonly known by its initials, JSD. Founded by Francisco Sá Carneiro, the JSD has become an essential basis of the PSD itself. Its activity is recognized in election campaigns, with a crucial position in terms of mobilization and as a "laboratory of ideas of the party". While defending the values affirmed by the Social Democratic Party, the JSD is a structure with its own identity and, therefore, works in an autonomous manner in respect to the party.
The Social Democratic Party is a political party in Brazil led by Gilberto Kassab and uniting dissidents from various political parties, especially the Democrats, Brazilian Social Democracy Party and Progressive Party. The PSD supported the impeachment of Dilma Rousseff.
The Portuguese local elections of 2017 were held on October 1, 2017. The elections consisted of three separate elections in the 308 Portuguese municipalities, the election for the Municipal Chambers, whose winner was elected mayor, another election for the Municipal Assembly, as well an election for the lower-level Parish Assembly, whose winner was elected parish president. This last election was held in the more than 3,000 parishes around the country.
…the government has been led by the conservative-liberal Social Democrats…
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