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Elections abroad – Portugal

Updated : 29/04/2014

Municipal elections

Portugal

Municipal elections

European Union citizens can vote and stand for election in local elections immediately after arriving in Portugal. No minimum period of residence is required.

To be able to vote, they must

  • be aged over 18
  • be on the local authority's electoral roll
  • be legally resident in Portugal
  • not be debarred from voting in their country of origin.

EU citizens can register with the registry commissions (comissões recenseadoras) or the Aliens Department (Serviço de Estrangeiros e Fronteiras, SEF). They are registered in the constituency corresponding to their place of residence as stated on their valid residence card (título de residência), registration certificate (Certificado de Registo) or EU citizen's permanent residence certificate (Certificado de Residência Permanente de Cidadão da UE).

For this purpose they must

  • submit a valid identity document
  • provide proof of legal residence in Portugal, in the form of an EU citizen's registration certificate (Certificado de Registo de cidadão da UE) or an EU citizen's permanent residence certificate (Certificado de Residência Permanente de cidadão da UE).

Voting is voluntary, so there is no penalty of any kind for not doing so.

EU citizens can stand for election and be elected to any local authority body, provided that they have not been debarred in their country of origin from the right to vote or to be elected.

To stand for election, EU citizens must

  • submit an application to stand for election in the legally sanctioned manner
  • submit a formal statement setting out their nationality, their place of residence in Portugal and their last residence in their country of origin
  • provide evidence that they have not been debarred from the right to be elected
  • Should there be any doubt about this last point, the competent court may require the competent authorities of the country of origin to testify that the candidate has not been debarred from the right to be elected in that country, or that the authorities in question are not aware of any such impediment.

For further information about documents relating to elections in Portugal, go to the Elector's Portal (Portal do Eleitor).

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