Portugal

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Question Value
Legal provisions for mandatory referendums at national level
  • Yes
Legal provisions for optional referendums at national level
  • Yes
Legal provisions for citizens' initiatives at national level
  • Yes
Legal provisions for agenda initiatives at national level
  • Yes
Legal provisions for recall at national level
  • No
Legal provisions for direct democracy at the regional level
  • Optional referendum
Legal provisions for direct democracy at the local level
  • Optional referendum
Legal basis for direct democracy at the national level
  • Constitutional
  • Specific laws/legislation
  • Regulations
Legal basis for administrative requirements at the national level
  • Constitutional
  • Specific laws/legislation
Who administers direct democracy mechanisms at the national level?
  • Government
  • Independent electoral commission
  • Legislature
First referendum/initiative held
  • 1933
Has there been a national referendum since 1980?
  • Yes

Question Value
Issues in relation to which referendums are mandatory at the national level
  • Devolution
Issues in relation to which referendums are optional at the national level
  • Any issue of national importance, except those excluded
Issues excluded from being the subject of referendums at the national level
  • Constitutional amendments
  • Adoption of international treaties
  • National sovereignty, national self-determination
  • Devolution
  • Civil service
  • Taxes and public expenditure commitments
  • Amnesty and pardon
Issues of sub-national referendums regulated at the national level
  • Creation/merger/abolition of sub-national territories
  • Any issue of regional importance for the two autonomous regions of the Azores and Madeira.
Who can initiate an optional referendum at the national level?
  • Government
  • President
  • Legislative majority
  • Registered electors
Who drafts the referendum question?
  • Mandatory referendum - President
  • Mandatory referendum - Legislature
  • Optional referendum - Government
  • Optional referendum - Legislature
  • Optional referendum - Registered electors
Who decides on the final form of the ballot text?
  • Constitutional Court
Quorum requirements for a referendum to be valid
  • Mandatory referendum - turnout quorum
  • Optional referendum - turnout quorum
Requirements for a referendum to pass
  • Mandatory referendum - simple majority
  • Optional referendum - simple majority
Are referendum results binding?
  • Mandatory referendum - always
  • Optional referendum - always

Question Value
Issues that can be proposed by citizens using the initiative process at the national level
  • Citizens' initiatives - other issues
  • Agenda initiatives - legislative proposals
Issues excluded from being the subject of an initiative at the national level
  • Constitutional amendments
  • National sovereignty, national self-determination
  • Devolution
  • Civil service
  • Taxes and public expenditure commitments
  • Amnesty and pardon
Who may propose the registration of an initiative?
  • Citizens' initiative - a number of individuals
  • Agenda initiative - a number of individuals
Materials to accompany an application for registration
  • Proposed title
  • General explanation of the purpose
  • Full proposed text
  • See also comments
Who determines the title of an initiative?
  • Citizens' initiative - proponents of the initiative
  • Citizens' initiative - legislature
  • Agenda initiative - proponents of the initiative
  • Agenda initiative - legislature
What disqualifies a proposed title of an initiative?
  • Inconsistency with proposed content
  • Discriminatory or inflammatory statements
  • Excessive length
  • Incomprehensibility
  • More than one subject area
Who is responsible for checking the legality of initiatives?
  • Legislature
  • Constitutional Court
At which stage legality check is conducted?
  • After its submission but before the vote on the initiative
Who decides the final ballot text when the initiative is put to a vote?
  • President
When does voting take place once an initiative is qualified for ballot?
  • Within a certain time limit

Question Value
Which individuals/positions may be subject to the recall?
    What are the grounds for recall?
      What restrictions are there in relation to the time period in which an individual or position can be recalled?
        When is the recall put to the vote?
          When does the election to replace an individual who has been recalled take place?
            Can an individual who is the subject of a recall stand on the ballot for his/her own replacement?

              Question Value
              How many signatures are required to start the formal decision making stage of a direct democracy mechanism?
              • Referendum - fixed number
              • Citizens' Initiative - fixed number
              • Agenda Initiative - fixed number
              What is the deadline for collecting required number of signatures?
              • Agenda Initiative - signatures are collected before submission
              • Citizens' Initiative - signatures are collected before submission
              Restrictions in relation to the individuals who can sign the proposal
              • Citizens' Initiative - signatories must be registered
              • Agenda Initiative - signatories must be registered
              Where can proposals be signed?
              • Anywhere
              What information must signatories provide when signing the proposal?
              • Identity or voting card number
              Restrictions in relation to signature collection
              • Not specified by legislation
              What forms of checks are undertaken to verify signatures?
              • Sample of signatures are checked
              Who checks the signatures?
              • Not specified by legislation