top of page

New Parliament sets off to a rough start

The election of the new President of the National Assembly - the Government's first post-elections act - exposed significant divisions among the right-wing.

After four rounds of voting, the AD's candidate for speaker of the Portuguese Parliament, laywer José Pedro Aguiar-Branco, was finally elected with 160 votes.

His election - made possible by an AD-PS deal to rotate the Presidency between them - revealed the difficulties facing new Government even before it was sworn in.

The rules of the Assembly of the Republic determine that the President of Parliament is elected at the first plenary meeting of the legislature by an absolute majority of the votes of the deputies in office.

Initially, far-right CHEGA had announced that it would support his candidacy, thus making his election a sure bet. On the first attempt to elect the president of parliament, on Tuesday, he was also the only candidate to stand.

However, it turned out that Aguiar Branco, the former Minister of Defense, obtained only 89 votes in favour, 134 blank and seven nulls.

Meanwhile, CHEGA put forwards their oldest MP, Diogo Pacheco de Amorim – a friend of Salazar who was involved in a right-wing terrorist organization following the 1974 revolution – as a vice-parliamentary president, saying they hope his appointment will “settle scores” (after years of open discrimination in parliament) and pave the way to a “new cycle”.

About an hour later the PSD withdrew its candidacy, but at 7pm the former Minister of Defense resubmitted it.

At the same time, the PS decided to move forward with the candidacy of Francisco Assis and Chega of Manuela Tender.

In the first round, the socialist won by a short margin (90 against 88 for Aguiar-Branco) and Chega's deputy was left behind with 49 votes.

In the second round - the third election attempt -, another failure was repeated, with very similar results: 90 votes for Assis and 88 for Aguiar-Branco, without either achieving the necessary absolute majority of votes in favour.

Aguiar-Branco was only elected on the fourth attempt after, at the end of Thursday morning, PS and PSD have announced an agreement which provides that the Social Democrats will only preside over parliament in the first two legislative sessions, until September 2026, and the Socialists will nominate a candidate for the rest of the legislature.

The votes obtained by the former Minister of Defense, 160, are slightly higher than the sum of the PSD, PS and CDS-PP benches (158).

The results received a standing ovation from the PSD and CDS-PP, the majority of the PS bench, seated, and some IL deputies.

José Pedro Correia de Aguiar-Branco was born in 1957, was a deputy between 2005 and 2019, having held the position of Minister of Defense in the Government led by Passos Coelho between 2011 and 2015 and Minister of Justice in the short-lived PSD/CDS-PP Government headed by Pedro Santana Lopes (2003-2004).

In the legislative elections on March 10, he was elected deputy for the AD coalition (which brings together PSD, CDS-PP and PPM) as head of the list for Viana do Castelo.

In addition to being a minister in two Governments led by the PSD, he was president of the social democratic parliamentary group in the XI Legislature and vice-president of the party from April 2008 to March 2010, during the leadership of Manuela Ferreira Leite.

Posts recentes

Ver tudo


bottom of page