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Assembleia da Republica (Assembly of the Republic)

Compare data for parliamentary chambers in the Last elections module

A historical Archive of past election results for this chamber can be found on a separate page

Parliament name (generic / translated) Assembleia da Republica / Assembly of the Republic
Structure of parliament Unicameral
Dates of election / renewal (from/to) 27 September 2009
Purpose of elections Elections were held for all the seats in the Assembly of the Republic on the normal expiry of the members' term of office.
The September 2009 elections were held against the backdrop of the global economic crisis which severely affected the country of 10 million inhabitants. The country's economy contracted by 3.7 per cent in the second quarter of 2009 compared to the same period in 2008. The unemployment rate increased from 7.9 to 9.1 per cent the highest in 20 years. The State budget deficit is expected to exceed 6 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2009.

In the previous elections held in February 2005 (see note) the Socialist Party (PS) won 121 of the 230 seats in the Assembly of the Republic. The then ruling Social Democratic Party (PPD/PSD) took 75. Mr. Jose Socrates (PS) became the new Prime Minister.

Mr. Socrates implemented a series of economic and social reforms promising to make the Portuguese economy more competitive. These reforms helped reduce the budget deficit from 6.1 per cent in 2005 to 1.8 per cent in 2007 prior to the arrival of the global economic crisis.

How to deal with the economic crisis remained the main issue in the 2009 elections in which 15 political parties were vying for seats.

Prime Minister Socrates promised to implement large-scale public works projects to create more jobs. These included a new Lisbon airport a bullet train to Spain as well as a road and rail bridge across the River Tagus in Lisbon. He also promised to continue economic and social reforms.

The largest opposition party the PPD/PSD was led by Ms. Manuela Ferreira Leite who was aspiring to become Portugal's first elected woman prime minister. Ms. Ferreira Leite argued that the PS's public works projects were wasteful and a non-essential luxury. She claimed that the PS would be passing on debts to future generations. Ms. Ferreira Leite a former finance minister pledged to make huge cuts in government spending and boost private investment to revive the economy. The PPD/PSD promised to improve the reform plans by pursuing broader consensus. Although the PPD/PSD had ruled the country with the PS in the 1980s Ms. Ferreira Leite vehemently rejected such a coalition during the election campaign.

The Democratic and Social Centre - People's Party (CDS-PP) led by Mr. Paulo Portas pledged to remain the best opposition force to the PS government. The Left Bloc (BE which had won eight seats in 2005) led by Mr. Francisco Louca promised to introduce higher corporate taxes to pay for social services. Mr. Jeronimo de Sousa led the Unitary Democratic Coalition (CDU) comprising the Communist Party - Green Coalition (PCP-PEV). The CDU had won 14 seats in the 2005 elections. Both the BE and the CDU ruled out the possibility of joining a PS-led government.

A total of 59.74 per cent of the 9.5 million registered voters turned out at the polls.

The PS remained the largest party in the Assembly of the Republic with 97 seats but failed to retain an absolute majority. The PPD/PSD took 81 six more than in the 2005 elections. The CDS-PP secured 21 seats up from 12. The BE doubled its share from eight to 16. The PCP-PEV took the remaining 15 seats. 64 women were elected.

On 15 October the Assembly of the Republic held its first session and re-elected Mr. Jaime Gama (PS) as its Speaker.

In Portugal general elections are held between 14 September and 14 October in the year in which the term of Parliament ends. If there are early elections the new parliament completes the remaining term of the outgoing parliament in addition to its four-year term. The 2009 elections were thus held in September instead of February.
Voter turnout
Round no 127 September 2009
Number of registered electors
Blank or invalid ballot papers
Valid votes
5'683'967 (59.74%)
Distribution of votes
Round no 1
Political Group Candidates Votes %
Socialist Party (PS) 2'077'695 37.88
Social Democratic Party (PPD/PSD) 1'654'777 30.17
Democratic and Social Centre - People's Party (CDS-PP) 592'997 10.81
Left Bloc (BE) 558'062 10.17
Unitary Democratic Coalition (CDU) 446'994 8.15
Distribution of seats
Round no 1
Political Group Total Number of women
Socialist Party (PS) 97 28
Social Democratic Party (PPD/PSD) 81 22
Democratic and Social Centre - People's Party (CDS-PP) 21 4
Left Bloc (BE) 16 7
Unitary Democratic Coalition (CDU) 15 3
Distribution of seats according to sex
Percent of women
Distribution of seats according to age
Distribution of seats according to profession
Note on the 'Distribution of seats according to sex':
64 women were elected in the September 2009 elections. However the number of women was reduced to 63 after the formation of the new Government in October 2009.
- Assembly of the Republic (12.10.2009 11.11.2009)
- http://www.legislativas2009.mj.pt/index.html

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