Portuguese presidential election, 1996

Portuguese presidential election, 1996

The Portuguese presidential election of 1996 was held on January 14.

Incumbent president Mário Soares was constitutionally barred from a third term. The Social Democrats were coming from a clear defeat in Portuguese legislative election, 1995, and their former leader, Aníbal Cavaco Silva, who had left the office of Prime Minister after ten years at the helm, lost by 400,000 votes to the Mayor of Lisbon, Jorge Sampaio.

The left other left-wing candidates, Jerónimo de Sousa and Alberto Matos, presented by the Portuguese Communist Party and the People's Democratic Union respectively, both left the race one week before the elections, announcing their support for Jorge Sampaio, as the victory of a left-wing candidate was in doubt. These parties had already supported Sampaio in a coalition that won the local elections in Lisbon. It would be the last time that People's Democratic Union presented a candidate, as two years later it merged with other small left-wing parties and formed the Leftwing Bloc.

Cavaco Silva was supported by the two major right-wing parties, the Social Democratic Party and the People's Party, and once more, the right wing parties did not manage to win the presidential election.

Sampaio gathered the majority of the votes in all the districts in the South of Portugal, including, of course, the Communist strongholds in Alentejo and Setúbal district. Cavaco managed to win in the more conservative district of the North (excluding the Oporto district) and also in Leiria (district), traditional strongholds of the right-wing parties.

With only two candidates left on the race, no second round was needed, and Sampaio was inaugurated to his first term in office on 9 March 1996.

Aníbal Cavaco Silva would have to wait ten more years to be elected president in 2006.


* Registered Voters: 8,693,636
* Turnout: 66.29%

* (Source: [http://eleicoes.cne.pt/cne2005/sel_eleicoes.cfm?m=raster#assemb Portuguese Electoral Commission] )


*cite web |title=CNE Resultados |url=http://eleicoes.cne.pt/cne2005/sel_eleicoes.cfm?m=raster#assemb| publisher=Comissão Nacional de Eleições| accessdate = 2005-05-17
*cite web |title=Centro de Estudos do Pensamento Político|url=http://www.iscsp.utl.pt/~cepp/abertura.php| accessdate = 2005-05-17

ee also

* President of Portugal
* Portugal
* Politics of Portugal

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