The President of the Republic and the Management of the Eurocrisis

  • Rui Graça Feijó


Portugal is one of the European countries with the longer history of republican regimes, and it has experienced over the last century all three government systems compatible with such a regime: parliamentary, presidentialist and semi-presidentialism. This chapter focuses on the role of presidents under semi-presidentialism and how it was affected by the onset of the Eurocrisis. It starts by offering a historical background to the institutional design that has been in force since 1976, with an important constitutional revision that touched upon presidential powers in 1982. Then, it analyses the relationship between presidents and political parties. Next, it discusses two main junctures in this long process: the election of the first civilian president (Mário Soares) after sixty years of praetorian supervision, which contributed to fine-tune conventions on the status of presidents, followed by the experience of Cavaco Silva who had to face the Eurocrisis and moved, with little success, to a different view of the president’s position in the political arena which hollowed the function. The last section deals with the current President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa and his attempt to shift back to conventions on presidential status and role.


Eurocrisis Direct Presidential Elections Minority Socialist Government Canotilho Right-wing Coalition 
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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rui Graça Feijó
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Centre for Social StudiesUniversity of CoimbraCoimbraPortugal
  2. 2.Institute for Contemporary HistoryNova UniversityLisbonPortugal

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