The Assembly of the Republic is the national parliament, and is
composed of Members who are elected to represent the country's
The Portuguese people elect the Members of the Assembly of the
Republic to represent them at the national level. This means that
although the Members are elected for constituencies, they represent
the whole country and not the constituency for which they were
Any Portuguese citizen can stand for election to the Assembly of
the Republic, but must do so on a list put forward by a political
party. The number of seats allocated to each party is proportional
to the number of votes it receives in each constituency.
Elections to the Assembly of the Republic take place every four
years. However, under certain conditions, which are laid down in
the Constitution, the Assembly can be dissolved, in which case
elections are held early.
In legislative elections the Portuguese people vote for the
party which they feel ought to be called on to form the Government,
or which they think will represent them best.