Portugal: an open verdict
DOI link for Portugal: an open verdict
Portugal: an open verdict book
The evaluation of the contribution made by political parties to democratic consolidation presents, in the case of Portugal, a formidable array of problems. The prominence of the military, in particular the group of officers who formed the Armed Forces Movement (MFA) and carried out the coup, was central to the entire transition phase. For instance, the semi-presidential' system which existed from 1976 not only divided the executive, but also affected the growth of party-political responsibility within the state structure. Virtually every prime minister and government under the Second Republic to date has been brought down by either inter- or intra-party conflict, well short of the statutory end of any parliamentary term. Politics in Portugal still appears primarily an affair of elites whose position is defined other than by political action, office, or career. Access to posts in the higher echelons of public life still seems to be restricted to long-term members of the 'political class'.