Government of Portugal
Portuguese: Governo de Portugal
Logo for the XXIV Government of the Portuguese Republic
Established24 September 1834; 189 years ago (1834-09-24)
StatePortuguese Republic
LeaderPrime Minister
Appointed byPresident of the Republic
Main organCouncil of Ministers
Responsible toAssembly of the Republic
HeadquartersOfficial Residence of the Prime Minister
Estrela, Lisbon
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The Government of Portugal, also referred to as the Government of the Portuguese Republic, the Portuguese Government or simply the Government, is one of the four sovereignty bodies [pt] 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.[1]

The term "constitutional government" or simply "government" also refers to the team of ministers and its period of management under one prime minister. This concept is similar to an "administration" in the parlance of a presidential republic or to a "collective ministry" in the parlance of some Commonwealth countries. Each government in this sense is identified by a roman number, with the present one (formed in April 2024) being the XXIV Constitutional Government of Portugal since the establishment of the current democratic regime, in 1976.[2]


The Government comprises the prime minister, ministers and secretaries of state (junior ministers). Governments may also include one or more deputy prime ministers and deputy secretaries of state.[3] Each minister usually heads a ministry and has assigned to him or her one or more secretaries of state, while certain governments may also assign one or more deputy ministers, as well.[4]


After the elections for the Assembly of the Republic or the resignation of the previous government, the president listens to the parties in the Assembly of the Republic and invites someone to form a government.

The prime minister chooses members of the council of ministers. Then the president swears in the prime minister and the Government.[4]


The Government has political, legislative and administrative functions. These include, among other things, the power to negotiate with other countries or international organizations, to submit bills to the Assembly of the Republic, to issue decrees and to take administrative choices.

The Government guides its actions by the governmental program and implements it in the state budget that is submitted to the Assembly of the Republic each year, in the laws that it proposes, in the decrees that it issues in the Portuguese Council of Ministers, and in individual decisions made by its members.

There are no guarantees that the government will stick to its government program, but if it fails to do so, its actions will be judged by the citizens in forthcoming elections.

The Government may also be questioned by the other three sovereignty organs: the president of the republic, the Assembly of the Republic and the courts. The president may veto governmental decrees and a government bill may fail to pass in the Assembly of the Republic, where a motion of no confidence may be approved.[4]

The Council of Ministers

Main article: Council of Ministers (Portugal)

The Council of Ministers is a collegial executive body within the Government of Portugal. It is usually presided over by the prime minister, but the president of the republic can preside over it at the prime minister's request. Besides the prime minister, the vice prime ministers and all ministers are members of the Council of Ministers. When the prime minister finds it fit, certain secretaries of state can also attend its meetings, but without being able to vote.[5]

List of governments (since 1976)

Constitutional Governments of Portugal[6]
Gov[7] Start[7] End[7] Prime minister[7] Parties in
Notes and main political events
I 1976-07-23 1978-01-23 Mário Soares PS 1976 election (34.9%), minority government, motion of no confidence
II 1978-01-23 1978-08-29 PS + CDS Coalition government, President Ramalho Eanes dismisses the government
III 1978-08-29 1978-11-22 Alfredo Nobre da Costa Independent Nobre da Costa is appointed by President Ramalho Eanes to form government, government resigned
IV 1978-11-22 1979-07-07 Carlos Mota Pinto Mota Pinto is appointed by President Ramalho Eanes to form government, prime-minister resigns
V 1979-08-01 1980-01-03 Maria de Lurdes Pintasilgo Lurdes Pintasilgo is appointed by President Ramalho Eanes to form a caretaker government
VI 1980-01-03 1981-01-09 Francisco Sá Carneiro,
Diogo Freitas do Amaral[a]
AD (PSD + CDS + PPM) 1979 election (45.3%)
1980 election (47.6%), Sá Carneiro's death, Diogo Freitas do Amaral (CDS) as interim prime-minister
VII 1981-01-09 1981-09-04 Francisco Pinto Balsemão Pinto Balsemão is chosen by his party (PSD) to replace Sá Carneiro, prime-minister resigned
VIII 1981-09-04 1983-07-09 Pinto Balsemão is chosen by his party to become prime-minister again, prime-minister resigned
IX 1983-07-09 1985-11-06 Mário Soares PS + PSD 1983 election (36.1% + 27.2%), coalition government (Central Bloc)
X 1985-11-06 1987-08-17 Aníbal Cavaco Silva PSD 1985 election (29.9%), minority government, motion of no confidence
XI 1987-08-17 1991-10-31 1987 election (50.2%)
XII 1991-10-31 1995-10-25 1991 election (50.6%)
XIII 1995-10-28 1999-10-25 António Guterres PS 1995 election (43.8%), minority government
XIV 1999-10-25 2002-04-06 1999 election (44.1%), minority government, prime-minister resigned
XV 2002-04-06 2004-07-17 Durão Barroso PSD + CDS–PP 2002 election (40.2% + 8.7%), coalition government, prime-minister resigned
XVI 2004-07-17 2005-03-12 Santana Lopes Santana Lopes nominated after Durão Barroso's resignation, parliament dissolved by President Jorge Sampaio, new election called
XVII 2005-03-12 2009-10-26 José Sócrates PS 2005 election (45.0%)
XVIII 2009-10-26 2011-06-20 2009 election (36.6%), minority government, government resigned
XIX 2011-06-20 2015-10-30 Pedro Passos Coelho PSD + CDS–PP 2011 election (38.7% + 11.7%), coalition government
XX 2015-10-30 2015-11-26 PàF (PSD + CDS–PP) 2015 election (38.6%), minority government, motion of no confidence
XXI 2015-11-26 2019-10-26 António Costa PS President Cavaco Silva appoints the 2015 election second largest party leader, minority government
XXII 2019-10-26 2022-03-30 2019 election (36.3%), minority government, budget rejection
XXIII 2022-03-30 2024-04-02 2022 election (41.4%), prime-minister resigned
XXIV 2024-04-02 Incumbent Luís Montenegro AD (PSD + CDS–PP) 2024 election (28.8%), minority government

See also


  1. ^ Interim prime minister between 4 December 1980 and 9 January 1981.


  1. ^ "Órgãos de soberania". Diário da República. Retrieved 14 April 2024.
  2. ^ "Diário da República n.º 65/2024, Suplemento, Série I de 2024-04-02". Diário da República. 2 April 2024. Retrieved 14 April 2024.
  3. ^ "Primeiro-Ministro". Diário da República. Retrieved 14 April 2024.
  4. ^ a b c "Governo". Diário da República. Retrieved 14 April 2024.
  5. ^ "Conselho de Ministros". Diário da República. Retrieved 14 April 2024.
  6. ^ "Consulta de Governos Anteriores". XXIV Constitutional Government website. Retrieved 14 April 2024.
  7. ^ a b c d "Governo de Portugal". (in Portuguese). Retrieved 2020-07-25.