Guide to Portugal’s 2024 Elections

Written By Zé Eduardo Penedo

On January 30, 2022, in elections brought forward by the rejection of the state budget, which led to the dissolution of Parliament and the calling of new elections, the PS had an absolute majority. The expectation was to create conditions for stability in government over the next four years. But that didn’t happen.

After several government crises, the 23rd government fell following a judicial investigation into the Sines Data Center, Lithium, and, above all, a paragraph in a press release from the Attorney General’s Office announcing the opening of an investigation into Prime Minister António Costa as part of Operation Influencer.

António Costa resigned on November 7, 2023, because he felt he was unable to remain in office. The chief of staff, Vítor Escária, the infrastructure minister João Galamba, and his friend Diogo Lacerda Machado were suspected of influence peddling.

The President of the Republic accepted the resignation, a month later made the government’s resignation official and on January 15, 2024, dissolved the Assembly of the Republic and scheduled early elections for March 10, the second in four years, both during Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa’s second and last term.

It was the ninth time that this mechanism, enshrined in the Constitution of the Republic, has been activated in the history of Portuguese democracy.

On March 10, 46 days before the 50th anniversary of April 25, Portugal will go to the polls for the 17th time in democracy to decide the new composition of the Assembly of the Republic, which will determine who will form the government and who will be Prime Minister, appointed by the President of the Republic. These are the second early parliamentary elections in four years. This guide explains what’s at stake.

In this article, you can find the major proposals of each party in seven different areas: health, education, economy, social protection, justice, environment, and housing.

For a question of brevity, only the eight parties with parliamentary seats have been included, but it is important to note that, depending on the electoral circle, there will be up to ten other parties on your voting bulletin.

So now, without any further ado, let’s see what each Portuguese party promises.

PS – Partido Socialista

Political spectrum: Center-left

Portugal’s Socialist Party (PS) is one of the country’s main political forces, with a history dating back to the Carnation Revolution of April 25, 1974, which put an end to the Estado Novo dictatorship. Founded on April 19, 1973, during the dictatorship, the PS was conceived as a center-left party, with the aim of promoting democracy, social and economic progress, and equal opportunities.

After the Carnation Revolution, the PS emerged as a significant political force, with many of its members playing important roles in the provisional government and in the first democratic governments. The party played a key role in drafting the 1976 Portuguese Constitution, which established the fundamental principles of parliamentary democracy in Portugal.

During the early years of democracy, the PS faced significant challenges, including internal divisions and ideological disputes. However, under the leadership of prominent figures such as Mário Soares, António Guterres, and José Sócrates, the party managed to consolidate its support and establish itself as a dominant political force in Portugal.

In 2024, PS will go into the elections weakened as a result of the consecutive scandals that ended up bringing down António Costa’s majority government.

Health

  • Immediate negotiations with public health professionals to review careers and raise salaries;
  • Equalizing the entry position of nurses with graduates in the general public administration career;
  • Increase the capacity to provide local health care;
  • Dignify the careers of hospital administrators and middle managers in the NHS;
  • Creation of a permanent care network in reference health centers.

Education

  • Beginning negotiations with teachers to recover the length of service in stages;
  • Moving forward with an evaluation of the national public education network;
  • Guarantee pre-school attendance for all children from the age of three and make pre-school education compulsory from the age of 4;
  • Continue digital training for schools;
  • Strengthen the conditions for student accommodation, aiming to have 30,000 beds in public supply by 2028.

Economy

  • Reinforce the reduction in personal income tax for the middle class and update the limits of the brackets in line with inflation;
  • Extend the “IRS Jovem” to all young people, regardless of their level of education;
  • Return of part of the VAT paid on essential goods to lower-income families;
  • Increase the national minimum wage to 1,000 euros by the end of the next legislature, in 2028;
  • Discuss with the social partners the adoption of instruments to improve companies’ employment situations.

Social Protection

  • To enable pensioners to maintain a decent standard of living compared to their working lives;
  • Reject any attempt to totally or partially privatize the pension system;
  • Ensure that the reference value of the Solidarity Supplement for the Elderly remains at least in line with the poverty threshold;
  • Extension of tax consignment to strengthen the pension system;
  • Promote phased transition models between work and retirement, with part-time retirement.

Justice

  • Making justice more efficient, transparent, and accessible;
  • Provide the Public Prosecutor’s Office and the criminal police with the means to investigate new forms of crime;
  • Review the rules on connecting processes, thus avoiding mega-processes;
  • Strengthening the role of the Justice Advisory Council as a way of improving dialogue between all the players;
  • Reviewing and enhancing the careers of bailiffs, registrars, and registry officers.

Environment

  • Creation of incentives to use solar energy in parking lots or other urban buildings;
  • Evaluate the increase in the share of the Efficiency Voucher and accelerate investment in the energy rehabilitation of buildings and condominiums;
  • Design a permanent support mechanism for improving the energy efficiency of homes;
  • Improving the quality of life and well-being of the population, promoting air quality, pollution control, and revision of the noise and light pollution laws;
  • Lithium prospecting and research.

Housing

  • Public guarantee for the financing of home loans taken out by people up to the age of 40;
  • Aggravation of capital gains on properties acquired and sold without being restored or inhabited;
  • Revision of the calculation formula for updating rents to include the evolution of salaries;
  • An increase of 50 euros per year in the deductible expenditure on rent for personal income tax purposes until it reaches 800 euros;
  • Increase the scope of the Porta 65 program.

AD – Aliança Democrática

Political spectrum: Center-right

The Democratic Alliance (AD) is a center-right political coalition made up of the Social Democratic Party (PPD/PSD), the CDS – People’s Party (CDS-PP), the Monarchist People’s Party (PPM), and independent figures. It was founded by Luís Montenegro, Nuno Melo, and Gonçalo da Câmara Pereira, together with several independent personalities.

AD’s history goes back to previous attempts to form a coalition, the first being between 1979 and 1983. Since then, there have been several attempts to reshape the coalition. In 1985, the spirit of AD was revived to support Freitas do Amaral’s candidacy in the presidential elections. In the 2022 legislative elections, AD was revived only in the Azores.

In December 2023, the coalition was restored for the 2024 legislative elections, the 2024 regional elections in the Azores, and the 2024 European elections, as well as for local agreements in the 2025 municipal elections. In addition to the three base parties, AD includes a platform of independents.

There were disputes over the PPM’s use of the AD name, but in January 2024, the PPM accepted the proposals and joined the coalition, with the three founding parties remaining in the current coalition.

For the 2024 parliamentary elections, AD will run in all the constituencies in mainland Portugal, in the Azores, and in the emigration constituencies, excluding the Madeira constituency, where there will be a coalition between PPD/PSD and CDS-PP.

Health

  • Conclude “temporary contracts with retired or private family doctors”, as foreseen in the SNS Emergency Plan 2024-2025 to be presented in the government’s first 60 days;
  • Guarantee the issue of a Specialty Consultation Voucher when the maximum guaranteed response time is exceeded;
  • Define a new set of incentives to attract health professionals, in conjunction with local authorities to attract them to the most deprived areas;
  • Reinforce investment in the NHS to support fertility and Medically Assisted Procreation (PMA);
  • Develop networks of Continuous Care, Palliative Care, and Proximity Outpatient Centers.

Education

  • Gradual restoration of teachers’ length of service between 2025 and 2028, at a rate of 20% each year;
  • Deduct the accommodation costs of teachers who are more than 70 km from their home area from the IRS and change the placement model;
  • Universal access to free pre-school education and nurseries by 2025;
  • Strengthening school autonomy in harmony with local authorities and redefining the role of the Ministry of Education, giving it regulatory responsibilities;
  • Revision of the “Essential Learning” and teaching guidelines.

Economy

  • Progressively lowering the personal income tax by two percentage points a year for the middle class between 2025 and 2027, extended up to the eighth income bracket [which, in three years, would take this tax from the current 21 percent to 15 percent];
  • Lowering the IRS for young people with a maximum rate of 15 percent up to the age of 35;
  • Guarantee an increase in the minimum wage to €1,000 by the end of the legislature and create the conditions for the average wage to rise to €1,750 by the end of the decade;
  • Exempt performance bonuses from contributions and taxes, up to the limit of one monthly salary;
  • In corporate income tax, reduce rates by two percentage points a year to 15 percent.

Social Protection

  • Guarantee a gradual increase in the reference value of the CSI to a minimum monthly income for pensioners of 820 euros in 2028;
  • Create a new mechanism to simplify the social support system by aggregating it into a Solidarity Pay Supplement;
  • Study the creation of a single benefit per type for non-contributory benefits;
  • Bringing social protection for the self-employed, informal caregivers, and remote workers into line with the scheme for employees;
  • Strengthen the support network of informal caregivers.

Justice

  • Fighting corruption by regulating lobbying and criminalizing illicit enrichment, further increasing the penalties;
  • Changing the rules of procedural legislation, to combat the creation of mega-processes and to avoid delays;
  • Revision of the general regime of administrative offenses;
  • Create a Permanent Commission for Justice Reform;
  • Amend the Constitution to, among other things, clarify the status of all judges, how they are appointed, the length of their terms of office, and the guarantees of irremovability.

Environment

  • Simplifying environmental licensing and strengthening transparency and inspection;
  • Increasing green spaces in urban centers and implementing energy efficiency measures in urban areas with greater social vulnerability and risk of energy poverty;
  • Promote full digitalization of the water cycle and increase the percentage of water for reuse;
  • Develop the measures introduced by the green tax reform;
  • Create the Coastal Resilience Action Program 2025-2040 to finance structural interventions and ongoing investments.

Housing

  • Supporting young people up to the age of 35 in buying a home, through 100 percent state guarantees and exemption from IMT on the first home;
  • Flexibility in land occupation limitations, urban densities (including high-rise construction) and construction demands and requirements;
  • Exceptional and temporary scheme for the elimination or reduction of tax costs in construction or rehabilitation, including the reduction of VAT to six percent;
  • Injecting vacant or underused public buildings and land into the market;
  • Launch a Public-Private Partnership Program for large-scale construction and rehabilitation.

Chega

Political spectrum: Far-right

Chega is a Portuguese political party that emerged from small groups within the Social Democratic Party, led by André Ventura. Its rise to prominence in the media occurred when Ventura made controversial statements about Roma communities and was considered a representative of the second-largest party at the time.

Initially, Chega had fewer links with far-right movements, but gained significant visibility due to its campaign against “political correctness”.

In 2020, the party attempted a merger with the Citizenship and Christian Democracy Party, but this was prevented by the Constitutional Court. Subsequently, the Citizenship and Christian Democracy Party dissolved, and many of its members joined Chega.

Chega has established international links with other right-wing parties, such as Identity and Democracy in Europe and Vox in Spain. However, since its foundation, the party has been marked by controversy, including reports of a lack of internal democracy, dissent, expulsions, and resignations of militants.

There have also been incidents of physical aggression between party members and attacks on third parties, as well as threats and insults on social media associated with party leaders. These controversies have raised concerns about the party’s conduct and internal culture.

Health

  • Transforming the National Health Service into a National Health System that links the public, private and social sectors;
  • Reform the Basic Health Law with public-private partnership management models;
  • Strengthening primary care and emergency care;
  • All citizens should be assigned a family doctor;
  • Promoting the development and retention of health professionals in the SNS.

Education

  • Full recovery of teachers’ frozen service time, the abolition of career progression quotas and salary increases;
  • Reducing curricula and school timetables;
  • Resumption of national exams at the end of all cycles of basic and secondary education;
  • Extending school social action to private and cooperative students;
  • “Review” of school funding in these two sectors.

Economy

  • Increase the National Minimum Wage to 1,000 euros by 2026;
  • Exempting a 15th salary from personal income tax (IRS) and exempting young people up to the age of 35 from IRS until they have earned 100,000 euros since the start of their careers;
  • Overtime with IRS and Social Security exemptions and a reduction in shift allowance;
  • Reinstatement of zero VAT on a wider list of essential foodstuffs and a reduced VAT rate for restaurants;
  • Single corporate income tax rate of 15% for the autonomous and inland regions and 18% for the rest of the country.

Social Protection

  • Increase the minimum retirement pension to equal the national minimum wage;
  • Partial or total exemption from the payment of company contributions to the general social security system;
  • Bonuses for workers and companies that extend working life and facilitate the accumulation of retirement pensions with income from work;
  • Implement a “Simplex Social Security”;
  • Increase parental leave to 12 months and ensure prenatal family allowance from conception.

Justice

  • Introduction of the life sentence and the accessory sanction of chemical castration into the Penal Code;
  • Revision and toughening of sentences for crimes such as domestic violence, crimes of a sexual nature, crimes against children, among others;
  • Strengthening powers, resources, and training in the fight against economic, financial, and organized crime;
  • Advances in plea bargaining;
  • Reform of the system for seizing, confiscating, and returning the proceeds of economic and financial crime to the state (and any victims).

Environment

  • Reformulation of the National Strategy for the Sea 2030;
  • Implement a National Plan to Combat Water Losses;
  • Implement a National Plan for the Use and Storage of Rainwater;
  • Tax benefits for projects that promote a balance between economic development and ecological preservation;
  • Insert the concept of the “dignity of animals” into the Constitution of the Republic and guarantee the implementation of the law against ill-treatment.

Housing

  • Eliminate the IMI surcharge;
  • Exempting the purchase of own permanent housing from IMI and IMT;
  • Abolish the taxation of capital gains on the sale of the home, when the value is invested in a new home for the taxpayer or descendants;
  • Broadening the range of Porta65 beneficiaries and simplifying the access process;
  • Implement public-private partnerships for construction on state land.

IL – Iniciativa Liberal

Political spectrum: Center-right

The Liberal Initiative (IL) emerged with the formation of the Liberal Initiative Association in September 2016, based on the discussion of the 1947 Oxford Liberal Manifesto. Its manifesto “Portugal Mais Liberal” was drawn up collaboratively, using the principle of digital democracy.

After delivering more than 8176 signatures to the Constitutional Court in September 2017, the party was formalized, and its registration was accepted in December 2017. Since then, IL has actively participated in congresses of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe.

In 2019, IL ran in three elections in Portugal but failed to elect any MPs. However, in the legislative elections of October 2019, it achieved the election of a deputy, João Cotrim de Figueiredo, for the Lisbon constituency. Subsequently, in December 2019, a new Executive Committee was elected, led by João Cotrim de Figueiredo.

In July 2020, Tiago Mayan Gonçalves, president of the IL Council of Jurisdiction, announced his candidacy for the 2021 presidential elections, achieving 3.2% of the votes. Later, in October 2020, Nuno Barata was elected deputy in the Elections to the Legislative Assembly of the Azores.

Over the years, the IL has held national conventions to discuss and elect its bodies, as well as to approve statutory changes. In January 2023, Rui Rocha was elected president of the IL Executive Committee for the 2023-2025 term.

In September 2023, IL elected its first deputy in the Madeira Legislative Assembly Elections but chose not to take on government responsibilities, committing itself only to constructive opposition.

Health

  • Assigning family doctors to specific groups, such as pregnant women, with the possibility of hiring private doctors. By 2028, a promise of a family doctor for everyone;
  • Recover the Public-Private Partnerships in the hospitals of Braga, Vila Franca de Xira, and Loures and extend the model;
  • Promoting mental health, guaranteeing effective access at all levels of care;
  • Variable pay according to performance for all health professionals;
  • Guaranteeing access to medicines and medical devices, with 100% reimbursement for those who cannot afford them.

Education

  • A nursery check for 480 euros;
  • Reintroduction of end-of-cycle exams;
  • Proposing that retired teachers return to teaching “receiving a salary and accumulating it with a pension”;
  • Switch from school funding to funding per pupil;
  • Restructure the teaching career.

Economy

  • The target of 1,500 euros net per month for the average salary by 2028;
  • Single IRS rate of 15% on the part of income that exceeds the National Minimum Wage;
  • Reducing the tax burden on self-employed professionals and workers;
  • Single corporate income tax rate of 12% for companies, except for large multinationals (15% as required by European law);
  • Create low-tax Special Economic Zones (SEZ) in the interior of the country to attract investment.

Social Protection

  • Reform the pension system, basing it on the principle of valuing individual savings and sustainable redistribution;
  • Annual notification of information on the aggregate situation of social security contributions;
  • Implement tax-free savings accounts;
  • Guarantee the claim of savings certificates after the death of the holder;
  • Reinforcing funding for Integrated Continued Care Units, many of which are run by Misericórdias and IPSSs.

Justice

  • Faster administrative justice, through greater recourse to administrative arbitration;
  • Implementation of specialized courts in matters of urban planning, the environment, and land use planning;
  • Allow jurists of recognized merit to enter the judiciary directly;
  • Qualify court clerks to guarantee advice in the courts;
  • Combating domestic violence and protecting its victims.

Environment

  • Create a national water market;
  • Debureaucratizing and accelerating investment in clean energies;
  • Conclude the forest registry, encouraging land consolidation by not charging administrative fees;
  • Agricultural policy focused on reducing context costs, such as water and energy;
  • Give co-management committees freedom and conditions in contracting management and restoration services for Protected Areas.

Housing

  • End the current rent freeze;
  • Any form of forced rental must be eliminated;
  • Measures for young people such as reducing VAT on construction, eliminating IMT on the purchase of permanent housing, among others;
  • Create a tax incentive scheme to attract investment, such as exemption from IMT when purchasing land;
  • In local accommodation, a reversal of the tax increase introduced in recent years.

BE – Bloco de Esquerda

Political spectrum: Far-left

The “Left Bloc” was born in 1999 from the merger of three political forces – the Popular Democratic Union (UDP), the Revolutionary Socialist Party (PSR), and Política XXI – which criticized communism and real socialism while maintaining a socialist vision based on Marxism. The party stood out for its democratic organization and attracted new members with no previous affiliation.

Over time, the BE added other groups and tendencies, including feminist, LGBT, trade union, and environmental activists. The constituent parties gradually died out, becoming political associations that maintained their publications, such as Combate and A Comuna.

Electorally, the BE grew gradually. In the 1999 elections, it won two seats. In 2002, it increased to three. In 2005, it won eight seats, and in 2009, it elected 16 MPs, making it the fourth-largest political force in Portugal. However, in 2011, there was a significant reduction, with half of the parliamentary seats.

Internally, disagreements arose that led to the departure of prominent members, such as Daniel Oliveira and the Forum Manifesto current. João Semedo and Catarina Martins took over the leadership of the party, succeeding Francisco Louçã. In the 2015 elections, the BE had its greatest electoral success, becoming the third-largest political force and influencing a government led by the Socialist Party.

However, in 2022, the BE suffered a setback in the legislative elections, losing the majority of its parliamentary seats, going from 19 to 5, and becoming the country’s sixth-largest political force.

Health

  • Creation of an exclusive regime, with a 40% increase in salary and 50% increase in points for career progression for health professionals;
  • 100% reimbursement of medicines for people earning less than the national minimum wage;
  • Establishment of a nurse and auxiliary technicians in the health teams for each family;
  • Repeal the legislation that opens the door to new public-private partnerships in the NHS and that allows for the privatization of primary health care and regulation of the private sector;
  • Reducing the weekly emergency hours required of doctors to 12 hours, freeing up the rest of the time for consultations and surgeries.

Education

  • Recovery of teachers’ length of service and career progression;
  • Compensation for displaced teachers;
  • Review of the organization of cycles and the school calendar;
  • Reconvert unused public buildings and sign protocols with the hotel and local accommodation sector to provide rooms at controlled prices;
  • Setting a maximum ceiling on tuition fees for master’s degrees and doctorates.

Economy

  • An interim increase in the minimum wage to 900 euros in 2024 and annual increases corresponding to the effect of inflation plus 50 euros;
  • VAT cut to 6% for electricity, gas, and telecommunications and tax exemption for essential foodstuffs;
  • Updating the specific IRS deduction from the current 4,104 euros to 4,686 euros and the introduction of mandatory aggregation of all income for those in the top two IRS brackets;
  • Creation of a tax on donations and inheritances and another on large fortunes;
  • Creating a tax on excessive profits for the sectors that have benefited most from inflation and rising interest rates.

Social Protection

  • Changing the rules for updating pensions, including economic growth and inflation in the calculation;
  • Recalculation of the pensions of those with more than 40 years of contributions, as well as the pensions of the fast-track schemes;
  • Widening access to the Solidarity Supplement for the Elderly (CSI), raising its reference value to be calculated from the value of the poverty threshold;
  • Reinforcement of unemployment benefits, returning to the national minimum wage as the benchmark for the minimum amount of contributory unemployment benefit;
  • Create a new social benefit (“Citizen’s Social Income”) to ensure that no one falls below the poverty line.

Justice

  • Criminalization of illicit enrichment (with confiscation of assets and 100% taxation), as well as the use of offshore services;
  • The end of golden visas comes into force;
  • Effective monitoring of the assets and income of political/public office holders, extending the obligation to declare to ministerial offices;
  • Drafting a Basic Law on Justice;
  • Creation of family and children’s sections in the higher courts and a body of experts in the permanent staff of the family courts.

Environment

  • Regulate the Basic Climate Law and strengthen its ambition, bringing forward the date for climate neutrality;
  • Taxing excessive oil company profits;
  • Decarbonization of transport modes, with rail solutions for urban, suburban and sub-regional transport;
  • Creation of central zones with major restrictions on car traffic in large cities, starting with Lisbon and Porto;
  • Job creation in sectors that reduce emissions.

Housing

  • Prohibit the sale of houses to non-residents;
  • Create maximum rent ceilings and grant rental subsidies;
  • Channel 25% of new construction into affordable housing;
  • Immediate mobilization of vacant or unused public buildings for affordable housing;
  • Reintroduction of the five-year minimum term for lease contracts.

CDU – Coligação Democrática Unitária

Political spectrum: Left

CDU is a left-wing political alliance made up of the Portuguese Communist Party (PCP) and the Ecologist Party “Os Verdes” (PEV), often including members of the Associação de Intervenção Democrática (ID) on its lists. Founded in 1987, the CDU succeeded the defunct United People’s Alliance (APU) due to disagreements between the founding parties.

Initially known as the “Unitary Democratic Coalition”, it later changed its name to keep the acronym (PCP-PEV) while maintaining its political identity. This coalition is already a tradition in Portuguese legislative elections, having run in every election since 1987, still with the iconic communist leader Álvaro Cunhal at its helm.

It comes into the 2024 elections weakened by having been one of the parties to support António Costa’s government in 2015. Its electoral base is one of the most dedicated and loyal in Portuguese politics and its leaders tend to be very strong orators.

 

Health

  • Reverse funding that goes to private groups to the NHS;
  • More doctors nurses and other professionals dedicated exclusively to the NHS;
  • Increased remuneration for NHS health professionals;
  • 25% more when counting the length of service;
  • Family doctor and nurse for all.

Education

  • More teachers in public education;
  • Full length of service after three years of teaching;
  • Creation of 100,000 new places in the public nursery school network by 2028;
  • Ending tuition fees in higher education;
  • Reinforcement of School Social Action, namely in the reinforcement of student residences.

Economy

  • General increase in salaries in the public and private sector, of at least 15% and not less than 150 euros;
  • Valuing careers and professions;
  • Reducing the price of the intermodal pass on public transport;
  • State intervention to regulate prices and reduce costs of fuel, electricity, communications, insurance, credit and tolls;
  • End Public-Private Partnerships.

Social Protection

  • Increase the average wage and the National Minimum Wage by 1,000 euros by 2024;
  • Reducing working hours to 35 hours for all;
  • Extraordinary increase in pensions in 2024, with an increase of 7.5%, minimum of 70 euros;
  • Penalty-free retirement with 40 years of contributions to bring the retirement age back to 65;
  • Universalization and enhancement of the family allowance.

Justice

  • Increased recruitment of professionals, such as judges, prosecutors, court clerks, etc;
  • Enhancement of careers, salaries, and professional statutes;
  • Adoption of measures to mitigate the slow pace of justice, such as the creation of support and advisory structures for magistrates;
  • More human resources for the PJ and the Public Prosecutor’s Office and urgent measures for the administrative and tax courts;
  • Phasing out court fees, expanding the network of justice of the peace courts, and legal aid.

Environment

  • Reinforcement of state resources for policies to protect the balance and regeneration of nature;
  • Betting on the Rational Use of Energy, increasing energy efficiency;
  • Policy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions;
  • Promoting the use of public transport;
  • Investment in scientific research and technology development.

Housing

  • Public housing supply program, through average annual investment of 1% of GDP;
  • Provision of 50,000 new homes during the next parliamentary term;
  • Protection of home ownership, with banks bearing the brunt of rising interest rates;
  • Regulating and reducing rents;
  • Repeal of the Evictions Law.

PAN – Pessoas-Animais-Natureza

Political spectrum: Center-left

The Party for Animals and Nature was founded in May 2009 as the Party for Animals (PPA) and officially registered in January 2011 as the PAN. Its first president was Paulo Borges. In the first legislative elections in which it participated, in 2011, the PAN did not elect any deputies, but it did obtain representation in the Legislative Assembly of the Autonomous Region of Madeira.

In 2014, the party changed its name to People-Animals-Nature (PAN). In the 2015 legislative elections, PAN elected its first deputy to the Assembly of the Republic. During the 2019 elections, the party was widely discussed due to a controversial measure in its electoral program related to inmates convicted of violent crimes. The party managed to elect four deputies, but in June 2020, one deputy quit the party.

In June 2021, the then spokesperson, André Silva, left active politics, being replaced by Inês Sousa Real. In February 2022, the Constitutional Court rejected changes to the party’s statutes, and in February 2024, André Silva announced his disaffiliation, criticizing the parliamentary support given by the PAN to the regional government of Madeira, which was involved in suspicions of corruption.

Health

  • Phased increase of 30% in doctors’ salaries and approval of a voluntary exclusive dedication regime;
  • Approve a pilot project to allow pharmacies to attend to minor medical situations;
  • Ensure that all citizens have a family doctor and nurse;
  • Increasing the percentage of deductions for health expenses in the IRS from 15% to 30%;
  • Urgent regulation of the law governing medically assisted death.

Education

  • Increase public investment in education to reach 6% of national GDP by the end of the legislature;
  • Balance teaching hours with non-teaching activities, such as relaxation, mindfulness, and activities in connection with nature;
  • Progressively recovering teachers’ frozen full-time service;
  • Study the possibility of increasing salaries at entry level;
  • Progressively make the 1st cycle of studies in Higher Education free of charge.

Economy

  • Approve a fiscal emergency program that guarantees the reinstatement of zero VAT and a review of the limits of the personal income tax brackets;
  • Extend the IRS Joven regime so that it lasts two more years and guarantees a tax reduction of 15% in the penultimate year and 5% in the final year;
  • Reduce the corporate income tax rate by 1 percentage point per year, reaching 17% by the end of the legislature;
  • Undertake a public consultation on the future of TAP that does not exclude the maintenance of a significant state stake in the company;
  • Increase the National Minimum Wage every year so that it reaches 1,100 euros by 2028.

Social Protection

  • Guarantee an increase in social benefits;
  • Assign every homeless person a case manager;
  • Enshrine the public nature of the crimes of rape, sexual coercion, sexual fraud, and sexual abuse;
  • Implement a National Strategy to Combat Loneliness in Portugal aimed at the elderly;
  • Regulate the implementation of the Gender Self-Determination Law in Schools.

Justice

  • Regulate lobbying, with mandatory registration of lobbyists and all the interests they represent;
  • Approve a National Anti-Corruption Strategy, eliminating the reasons for current implementation failures and setting targets;
  • Combat the phenomenon of “revolving doors” by providing for three-year periods of disgust;
  • Introduce negotiation mechanisms in the justice system to ensure the speedy resolution of cases;
  • Review the career of bailiffs and their salary conditions.

Environment

  • Ensure climate neutrality by 2045;
  • Eliminate all subsidies and public support for fossil fuels;
  • Set targets for the introduction of electric vehicles by public transport operators;
  • Ensure free monthly public transport passes by 2028;
  • Ensure the evaluation of the Beja Airport option.

Housing

  • Approve a subsidized housing loan scheme for young people aged 18 to 35;
  • 25% discount on the fees for deeds and registration acts for the acquisition of real estate by young people, and exemption from stamp duty;
  • Reduce the personal income tax of landlords who promote affordable rent and update rents below inflation;
  • Expand the supply of affordable public housing;
  • Converting vacant public buildings into housing for young people, particularly students.

Livre

Political spectrum: Left

The Livre party emerged in 2013 after thousands of Portuguese signed the Manifesto for a Free Left and held a series of meetings across the country. Its Founding Congress took place in January and February 2014 in Porto.

Initially, Livre formed a citizens’ candidacy, involving various progressive left-wing and independent movements, changing its name to LIVRE/Tempo de Avançar at its second Congress in April 2015.

Later, in June 2016, the party returned to its original name, LIVRE, at its fifth Congress. Livre’s ideology is based on four pillars: Freedom, Left, Europe, and Ecology, with seven fundamental principles: Universalism, Freedom, Equality, Solidarity, Socialism, Ecology, and Europeanism.

These principles guide its political action, seeking to promote universal human rights, personal autonomy, equality, solidarity, the rejection of commodification, political ecology, and transnational democracy.

Health

  • Reforming the National Health Service;
  • Strengthening access to primary health care;
  • Ensure the integrated operation of emergency services in hospitals;
  • Eliminate user fees;
  • Enhancing the careers of the National Health Service.

Education

  • Focusing the school on each student;
  • Guarantee free public education;
  • Dignify the teaching career and value all non-teaching staff and specialized technical staff;
  • Promoting citizenship at school and integration into the community;
  • Rethinking compulsory national exams in secondary education.

Economy

  • Promoting a new green pact to create a green and fair economy;
  • Increasing sources of state revenue and promoting redistribution by combating tax evasion, reducing the weight of taxes on labor income, increasing the personal income tax consignment to 1%;
  • Taxing the profits of large multinational companies fairly;
  • Ensure a Statute for Public Goods, categorizing all the goods on which the population depends (e.g. CTT, REN, Caixa Geral de Depósitos and transport companies);
  • Getting Portugal out of the “trap” of low wages and increasing labor income.

Social Protection

  • Eradicating poverty in Portugal;
  • Guaranteeing rights and integrating homeless people;
  • Ensure gender equality in all sectors and combat gender inequality;
  • Zero tolerance for the sexual abuse of minors;
  • Combat online hate speech, discrimination based on sexual orientation, and structural racism and xenophobia;

Justice

  • Promoting speed and efficiency in justice;
  • Guarantee universal access to justice;
  • Making justice transparent and uncomplicated;
  • Make the digital transition in justice more effective in order to increase speed;
  • Reform the prison system.

Environment

  • Enforcing the basic climate law;
  • Reduce national gas emissions by 65 percent by 2030;
  • Increased energy efficiency in buildings, homes, and transport;
  • Ambitious and continued commitment to renewable energies;
  • Carry out an environmental tax reform.

Housing

  • Achieve 10 percent public housing;
  • Ensuring help to buy a first home;
  • Inventory and rehabilitate the public housing stock;
  • Increase the number of places in university residences;
  • Establish ceilings on rents, making average and low incomes compatible with the value of the rent.

Over and Out

Independently of how you feel about each party’s proposals and where you fall on the political spectrum, it is crucial to be well-informed and aware of what each proposal implies. That is why you should take this article as only a starting point in your decision. From here, you should ideally visit each party’s website and consult their respective election program – or at least the ones you mostly identify with.

2024 seems to be a particularly decisive year. Not only in Portugal but also in Europe and throughout the entire world. In Portugal alone, there will be two distinct elections: the legislative election on March 10th when all 230 seats to the Assembly of the Republic will be at stake, thus electing the party that will be invited by the President to form a government. Then, the European parliamentary election on June 9th, when the Portuguese – and every citizen of the European Union – will pick their representatives in the European parliament.

National elections are scheduled or expected in at least 64 countries, which all together represent almost half the global population. These include Mexico, Russia, India, the United Kingdom and, of course the United States. So we can say that 2024, the year when Portugal completes its 50th anniversary of its revolution, is not only an election year, but the election year. So make your vote count.

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