The Presidentialization The Presidentialization of Portuguese Democracy?

Marina Costa Lobo

in The Presidentialization of Politics

Published in print March 2005 | ISBN: 9780199252015
Published online April 2005 | e-ISBN: 9780191602375 | DOI:

Series: Comparative Politics

The Presidentialization The Presidentialization of Portuguese Democracy?

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Analyses the extent to which Portuguese democracy has become presidentialized both politically and electorally. Several indicators are used to measure the growth of leadership autonomy within the party, namely, the election modes of leadership bodies; the control over candidate selection for the national parliament; the degree of autonomy to draw up the electoral programme; and the ability to decide on coalitions. Concerning the strengthening of leadership within government, the chapter explores data concerning the increase in Prime Minister’s resources. In this section, the enduring importance of senior party members within government is shown, which counters the presidentialization trend. Looking to the electoral face of presidentialization, evidence that points to the importance of leaders in the vote choice of the Portuguese electorate is presented.

Certain indicators point to greater autonomy and strength of the party leader/Prime Minister. The 1982 revision of the Constitution that circumscribed Presidential powers in ‘normal circumstances’ and the concentration of the vote in the two major parties, which has occurred since 1987, are important factors that explain the emergence of a stronger premier, and more candidate-centered electoral processes. Yet, the enduring semi-presidential nature of the regime, as well as the evidence of the importance of the party members within government, cautions against characterizing the Portuguese political system as having become fully presidentialized.

Keywords: government; party; Portugal; presidentialization; prime minister

Chapter.  8871 words. 

Subjects: Comparative Politics

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