Marcelo elected as President of the Republic of Portugal

Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa has won the election already in the first ballot
Sunday, 24 January 2016 | Politics

The Portuguese election agency CNE in Lisbon has announced that the conservative politician has reached the absolute majority of votes with 52,4% and will be sworn in on March 9, 2016, succeeding Aníbal Cavaco Silva, who has to quit after two periods. With around 48% the polling was slightly above that of 2012.

Runner-up was the independent candidate Antonio Sampaio da Novoa with almost 23%, followed by the candidate of the left block, Marisa Matias with 10 %. The former socialist Minister of Health, Maria de Belem Roseira and the communist Edgar Silva reached around 4% each.

Marcelo, his complete name is Marcelo Nuno Duarte Rebelo de Sousa, was born in Lisbon in 1948. He is a Cathedratic Professor specialized in Administrative Law from the Faculty of Law of the University of Lisbon with a high reputation in Portugal.

Based on his activities as journalist -he had a weekly program of political analysis every Sunday at public TV station RTP after previously having a similar program on the private TV station – and author of numerous publications he is one of the most influential contemporary politicians in Portugal. He was a charter member of the Social Democratic Party and its first president (1996-1999). Already his father held various important political offices such as Governor of Mozambique and Minister in the governments of Salazar and Caetano. When Marcelo announced to candidate in October 2015 he was considered to be the favourite and since then headed the polls.

Since 1982 the President is the head of state of Portugal with primarily representative tasks. He nominates the Prime Minister given the election results and appoints the other members of the Government by proposal of the Prime Minister. He can also dissolve the Assembly of the Republic and he has the power of veto during the legislation process. Due to the uncertain political situation in Portugal - since the recent elections in December 2015 Portugal has a socialist minority government – the future role of the President will be of special importance.