Aníbal Cavaco Silva

Aníbal Cavaco Silva

Infobox President
honorific-prefix =
name = Aníbal António Cavaco Silva
honorific-suffix =

imagesize = 200px
caption =
order = President of Portugal
primeminister = José Sócrates
term_start = 9 March 2006
term_end =
predecessor = Jorge Sampaio
successor =
order2 = Prime Minister of Portugal
term_start2 = 6 November 1985
term_end2 = 28 October 1995
monarch =
president2 = António Ramalho Eanes
Mário Soares
predecessor2 = Mário Soares
successor2 = António Guterres
birth_date = birth date and age|1939|07|15|df=y
birth_place = Boliqueime, Loulé, Algarve, Portugal
party = PSD
spouse = Maria Alves da Silva, Mrs. Cavaco Silva
occupation = Economist
Economics Lecturer
Economics Professor
Portuguese Bank Economical Studies Department Director
Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation investigator
Portuguese Bank financial adviser
religion = Roman Catholic

Aníbal António Cavaco Silva GCC (pronounced|ɐˈnibaɫ kɐˈvaku ˈsiɫvɐ; born in Boliqueime in the Loulé municipality in the Algarve region, on 15 July 1939), son of Teodoro Gonçalves Silva and wife and second cousin Maria do Nascimento Cavaco, is the President of the Portuguese Republic, having won the Portuguese presidential election on 22 January 2006. Cavaco Silva was sworn in on 9 March 2006.

He was previously Prime Minister of Portugal from 6 November 1985 to 28 October 1995. His tenure of ten years was the longest of any democratically elected Prime Minister in Portuguese history, and he was the first Portuguese Prime Minister to have won an absolute parliamentary majority under the current constitutional system, which was established after the country's redemocratization, a feat he achieved twice.

Early career

Cavaco Silva, who had been a professor of economics and earned a doctorate from the University of York, was appointed Minister of Finance by Prime Minister Francisco Sá Carneiro in 1980. He gained a reputation as an economic liberal, gradually dismantling regulations inhibiting free enterprise. He refused to serve in the Center Bloc coalition of Socialists and Social Democrats (PSD) that governed from 1983 to 1985, and his election to the leadership of the PSD on 2 June 1985, portended the end of the coalition.

Decade in power: 1985-1995

The election that followed was complicated by the arrival of a new political party, the Party for Democratic Renewal (PRD) formed by the supporters of the President, António Ramalho Eanes. In the 250-member Assembly of the Republic, the nation's legislature, the PRD won 45 seats - at the expense of every party except Cavaco Silva's PSD. Despite winning less than 30 percent of the vote and 88 seats, the PSD was the only traditional political party not to suffer substantial losses; its 88 seats, in fact, represented a gain of 13 over the previous election. Cavaco Silva became Prime Minister on 6 November 1985.

Tax cuts and economic deregulation and the arrival of EU funds spurred several years of uninterrupted economic growth, which increased Cavaco Silva's popularity. He was hampered, however, by heading a minority government. On most issues, his Social Democrats could rely on the 22 votes of the Social and Democratic Center Party (CDS), but the two parties' combined 110 votes fell 16 short of a parliamentary majority. The Socialists and Communists held 57 and 38 seats respectively; Cavaco Silva could govern if the 45 members of the PRD, who held the balance of power, abstained, as they frequently did. In 1987, however, the PRD withdrew its tacit support, and a parliamentary vote of no confidence forced President Mário Soares to call an early election.

The results of the election stunned even the most optimistic of Cavaco Silva's supporters. His Social Democrat party captured 50.2 percent of the popular vote and 148 of the 250 seats in the Assembly of the Republic. Far behind were the Socialists, with only 60 seats, and the Communists, with 31. The CDS and the PRD were virtually wiped out, left with only 4 and 7 seats, respectively. This was the first time in Portuguese history that a single party had won an outright parliamentary majority.

The 1991 election was another triumph for Cavaco Silva; it yielded a majority even larger (50.4 percent) than the one of four years earlier. However, the 1993 European economic crisis, sparking a high unemployment rate, and the country's mistrust of long-spanning governments, eroded his popularity. He decided not to contest the 1995 election, and the PSD, lacking a leader of his stature, lost 48 seats and the election.

Out of office: 1995 - 2006

Cavaco Silva contested the 1996 presidential election, but was defeated by the Mayor of Lisbon, Jorge Sampaio, the Socialist candidate. Retiring from politics, he served for several years as an advisor to the board of the Banco de Portugal (Bank of Portugal), but retired from this position in 2004. He then became a full professor at the School of Economics and Management of the Catholic University of Portugal, where he taught the undergraduate and MBA programs.

He declined to support Pedro Santana Lopes in the parliamentary election of 2005, whom he branded as a mediocre politician, despite pressure from within his party.

He is a member of the Club of Madrid [] [en [ The Club of Madrid is an independent organization dedicated to strengthening democracy around the world by drawing on the unique experience and resources of its Members – 66 democratic former heads of state and government] and an honorary member of [ The International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation]

Presidential candidacy and term

On 20 October 2005, Cavaco Silva announced his candidacy in the presidential election. He was elected president on 22 January 2006 with 50.6% of votes cast, avoiding a run-off. He is the first elected centre-right president in Portugal since 1974. He is also the second former Prime Minister to be elected president, following in the footsteps of Mário Soares.

He was sworn-in on 9 March 2006. He is also the Head of the Portuguese Council of State.

Cavaco Silva term as been marked by a mutual understanding with the government leaded by Socialist José Sócrates, with the President rarely using his veto power.

This has lead to several controversies, with some branding Cavaco Silva, a practising Roman Catholic and a self-described believer in Fátima aparitions, a traitor to the center-right and to some of his own personal beliefs.

The most controversial moment of his presidency was when the Assembly of the Republic passed a bill for the holding of a pre-legislative referendum on the legalization of abortion in Portugal without any restrictions in the 10 first weeks of pregnancy.

After the parliamentary approval of the bill summoning the referendum, Cavaco Silva referred the matter to the Portuguese Constitutional Court, which declaredboth the proposed legalization and the referendum constitutional by a narrow 7-6 margin. Cavaco Silva, who could still have vetoed the referendum bill, decided to sign it into law despite pressure from some pro-life sectors, and thus allowed the referendum.

The majority of the Portuguese electorate abstained from the referendum, but the vote for legalization prevailed among those who chose to cast their ballot.

Under the Portuguese Constitution, the institutions of the State were not bound by the referendum due to low voter participation; fully 58% of the electorate did not vote. Even so, the Assembly of the Republic passed the bill legalizing abortion in accordance with the wishes of a majority of those who did vote, and Cavaco Silva again faced pressure to veto the legalization bill. A presidential veto was still possible due to the non-binding nature of the referendum's result. The President, however, again chose not to wield his veto power, and signed the legalization act into law.

State visits

Spain (25 September to 28 September 2006)

President Cavaco Silva was invited to visit Spain by King Juan Carlos in March, through Prince Felipe. His visit was overshadowed by the announcement of Princess Letizia's pregnancy.

India (11 January to 17 January 2007)

During this visit, President Cavaco Silva received an honorary degree by the Goa University on 14 January and participated in several initiatives on economic themes.

United States (19 June, 23 June 2007)

During this visit, President Cavaco Silva plans to open an exhibition concerning Portugal's role in the discovery and convergence of diverse cultures, and to contact some Portuguese communities on the North American Eastern Seaboard, including the city of Fall River, Massachusetts whose Portuguese-descended population (43.9 percent at the 2000 census) is the highest of any municipality in the United States. Fall River features a replica of "The Gates of the City of Ponta Delgada" or "Portas da Cidade" in Portuguese.


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DateFormat = yyyyPeriod = from:1935 till:2015TimeAxis = orientation:vertical ScaleMajor = unit:year increment:5 start:1935ScaleMinor = unit:year increment:1 start:1970

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at:1939 text:15 July - born in Boliqueime at:1974 text:Graduates with Doctorate from University of York at:1980 text:Finance Minister under Francisco Sá Carneiro at:1985 text:2 June - President of Social Democratic Party from:1985 till:1995 text:Prime Minister at:1996 text:Contests Presidential election; loses to Jorge Sampaio at:2006 shift:(25,-5) text:22 January - Elected President from:2006 till:2011 text:President of Portugal


He married at the Church of the Monastery of São Vicente de Fora, São Vicente de Fora, Lisbon, on 20 October 1963 to Maria Alves da Silva, with whom he has had two children:
* Bruno Alves Cavaco Silva, married to Maria do Amparo Anacleto Silva, currently expecting the birth of their first child
* Patrícia Maria Alves Cavaco Silva, married to Luís Manuel de Sá Montez, by whom she had:
** Mariana Cavaco Silva de Sá Montez, born in 1996
** Afonso Cavaco Silva de Sá Montez, born in 1998
** António Luís Cavaco Silva de Sá Montez, born in 2001
** João Maria Cavaco Silva de Sá Montez, born in 2004


*"Cavaco Silva, Autobiografia politica, vol I and II."



External links

* [ Official Site of the President of the Republic]

NAME=Cavaco Silva, Aníbal
ALTERNATIVE NAMES=Cavaco Silva, Aníbal António (full name)
SHORT DESCRIPTION=President of Portugal
DATE OF BIRTH=15 July 1939
PLACE OF BIRTH=Boliqueime, Loulé, Algarve, Portugal

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