PORTUGAL
Parliamentary Chamber: Assembleia da Republica

ELECTIONS HELD IN 1995

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Chamber:
  Assembleia da Republica


Dates of elections / renewal (from/to):

  1 October 1995


Purpose of elections:

  Elections were held for all the seats in Parliament on the normal expiry of the members' term of office.


Background and outcome of elections:

  The two main rivals in the 1995 parliamentary elections were the ruling Social Democratic Party (PSD) of Prime Minister Anibal Cavaco Silva and the Socialist Party (PS) of President of the Republic Mario Soares, which had been a member of the governing coalition until 1985. In office since then, Mr. Cavaco Silva had ushered in a period of marked political and economic stability.

The respective campaigns of these two parties differed little on substance, with both favouring the European Union (EU) and committed to meeting the Maastricht Treaty's strict fiscal and monetary criteria for entering the European Monetary Union in 1999. In this connection, they backed austere budgetary measures and opposed higher taxes. The socialist group, led by Mr. Antonio Guterres, had in recent years embraced fiscal discipline and free-market economics, including a wide-ranging privatisation program. They also pledged continuing support for education and health services as well as social security reform.

On polling day, the PS ended the centre-right PSD's 10-year reign by gaining 40 more seats while the Social Democrats lost 47. Thirty remaining seats were shared evenly by conservative and communist-led coalitions, both of whom were anti-EU. Although falling just short of an absolute parliamentary majority, the PS formed a minority Government on 12 October, thus ending its "cohabitation" in power with the PSD. The new Cabinet, led by Prime Minister Guterres, was sworn in on 29 October.

STATISTICS
Round no 1 (1 October 1995): Elections results  
Number of registered electors 8,711,815
Voters 5,850,160 (67.15%)

Round no 1: Distribution of votes  
Political Group %
Socialist Party (PS) 43.93
Social Democratic Party (PSD) 34.02
People’s Party (PP) 9.10
United Democratic Coalition (CDU) 8.62

Round no 1: Distribution of seats  
Political Group Total Gain/Loss
Socialist Party (PS) 112 +40
Social Democratic Party (PSD) 88 -47
People’s Party (PP)* 15 +10
United Democratic Coalition (CDU) 15 -2

Comments:
  *previously known as the Christian Democratic Centre (CDS)

Distribution of seats according to sex:  
Men: 200
Women: 30


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Copyright 1995 Inter-Parliamentary Union