President of the Republic is, alongside the Parliament, the Government
and the Courts, a sovereign body (article 110, nr. 1, of the Constitution),
with his statute, form of election and responsibilities established in
Title II of Part III of the Constitution (articles 120 to 146).
The President's constitutional functions are fundamentally the representation of the Portuguese Republic, guarantee of national independence, unity of the state and the regular functioning of its institutions, as well as serving as Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces (article 120).
The President of the Republic is elected by the citizens, in a direct and general vote, for a term of 5 years, and cannot be elected for a third consecutive mandate. Candidacies are proposed by voting citizens (a minimum of 7,500 and a maximum of 15,000) and the candidate in order to be elected must necessarily win more than half of the validly cast votes. To this end, if necessary, a second round of voting will be held with the two candidates with the most votes of the first balloting (articles 121 to 128).
This form of election guarantees the President of the Republic with the democratic legitimacy required to effectively exercise the powers conferred by the Constitution.
The President of the Republic exercises his duties under articles 133, 134 and 135 of the Constitution, with some of the activities shared with or dependent on discussions with other bodies and entities.
Within these vast responsibilities a few stand out, because
of their importance within the context of the State?s powers and the relations
with other sovereign bodies:
the Supreme Command of the Armed Forces [ articles 133 / p) and 134 / a) ]
The President of the Republic exercises the functions of the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces and nominates and dismisses, based on Government proposals, the Chief of the General Command of the Armed Forces and the Chiefs of the General Command of the three branches of the Armed Forces.
The President of the Republic can, observing the time limits and circumstances of article 172, dissolve Parliament, which implies the need for new parliamentary elections (article 113, Nr. 6) and, after these are called, the dismissal of the Government [article 195, Nr. 1, a)].
The President of the Republic names the Prime Minister, taking into account the electoral results (article 187, Nr. 1) and names the remaining members of the Government based on the proposal of the Prime Minister [article 133, h)]. He can, on the other hand, dismiss the Government when that becomes necessary in order to ensure the regular functioning of democratic institutions (article 195, Nr. 2).
The bodies of government of the autonomous regions may be dissolved by the President of the Republic, for the practice of serious acts against the Constitution (article 234).
The President of the Republic declares state of siege or emergency, having heard the Government and on authorization of Parliament (article 138, Nr. 1).
On the proposal of the Government and pending authorization of Parliament, the President of the Republic can declare war in case of actual or imminent aggression and can declare peace.
The President of the Republic promotes or signs - and can refuse to promote or sign - laws, decree-laws, regulatory decrees and the remaining decrees of the Government, though the possible refusal to promote laws, decree-laws and regulatory decrees is subject to time limits and conditions outlined in article 136 and articles 278 and 279.the ratification of international treaties and the signing of decrees and resolutions that approve international agreements [ article 134 / b) and 135 / b) ]
In the area of his responsibilities in international relations, the President of the Republic ratifies international treaties [articles 135 / b) ] and signs resolutions of Parliament and the Government decrees that approve international accords [article 134 / b) ].
The President of the Republic decides whether to call a referendum, which is held, under the terms of article 115, on the proposal of Parliament (possibly based on initiative of citizens) or by the Government (article 115, Nrs. 1 and 2).
In addition to the power of initiative held in the area of successive oversight, (article 281, Nr. 2) and the oversight of unconstitutionality by omission (article 283), the President of the Republic can require the Constitutional Court to preventatively consider the constitutionality of norms in international conventions or in decrees that have been sent to him for promotion as basic law, law, or decree-law (article 278, Nrs. 1 and 4).
The President of the Republic nominates and dismisses, in some cases on the proposal of the Government, heads of important State bodies such as the Ministers of the Republic for the autonomous regions [article 133, 1)], the President of the Accounts Tribunal an the Attorney General of the Republic [article 133, m)], five members of the Council of State and two board members of the Superior Magistrate?s Council [article 133, n)].
The President of the Republic nominates ambassadors and special envoys, on the proposal of the Government, and give accreditation to foreign diplomatic representatives.
The President of the Republic having heard the Government, pardons and commutes penalties.
While the territory of Macao remains under the administration of Portugal, the President of the Republic is responsible for the acts and exercise of power described in the territorial statute (article 292, Nr. 1), while with East Timor, he is responsible, in conjunction with the Government, for all the acts necessary for achieving the goal of promoting and guaranteeing its right to self-determination and independence (article 293).
The President of the Republic presides over the Council of State, which is the political body consulted by the President of the Republic (article 141), and designates five citizens to be a part of this body for the period corresponding to the term in office of the President of the Republic (article 142).
The President of the Republic presides over the Council of Ministers at the Prime Minister's request [ article 133/ i) ].