Law No. 71/78
of Dec. 27


Source :


The Portuguese Parliament decrees, as defined in paragraph (d) of article 164 and in paragraph (f) of article 167 of the Constitution, the following:




Article 1 - Définition and functions


1. The National Election Commission is created.

2. The National Election Commission is an independent body and functions along with the Portuguese Parliament.


3. The National Election Commission deals with all acts of registration and with elections to sovereign bodies in the autonomous regions, and with local government.


Article 2 - Composition


The National Election Commission is made up of:

a) A High Court Judge from the Supreme Justice Tribunal appointed by the Supreme Counsel of Magistrates, which will be the president;

b) Citizens of recognized probity, to be designated by the Portuguese Parliament in a complete list of names, each one of them being proposed by each of the parties represented in the Portuguese Parliament;

c) A specialist designated by each of the government departments responsible for Internal Administration, for Foreign Affairs and for the Mass Media.


Article 3 - Mandate


1. The members of the National Election Commission are nominated up to thirty days after the start of each term of government and are sworn in before the President of the Parliament within the thirty days following the designated period of time.

2. The members of the National Election Commission continue in office until the swearing in of the new Commission.


Article 4 – Statute of Commission members


1. The members of the National Election Commission are permanent and independent in the exercise of their office.


2. The members of the Commission will lose their mandate if they compete in any kind of elections of the state, autonomous regions or local government.


3. Vacancies occurring in the Commission, specifically caused by death, resignation, physical or mental problems, or loss of the mandate, shall be filled in accordance with the nominating criteria defined in article 2, within 30 days following the vacancy.


4. Should the Portuguese Parliament become dissolved in the aforementioned period, the Commission members whom it should designate will be substituted until the start of the next Parliament, by joint decision of the members in office.


5. The members of the National Election Commission are entitled to an attendance voucher for each day attended equal to one seventy-fifth of the M.P.s' monthly subsidy.




Article 5 - Scope


The National Election Commission carries out the following:

a) Ensuring that citizens have a clear understanding of electoral procedure, specifically via the mass media.


b) Ensuring that all citizens are treated equally in all acts of electoral registration and procedure.

c) (revoked)

d) Ensuring that each candidate has equality of action and advertising during the election campaign.

e) Registering the declaration of each newspaper concerning its position during the electoral campaign.

f) The distribution of broadcasting time on radio and television among the different candidates.

g) Deciding on the appeals made by those responsible for the electoral lists and parties against the decisions of the Civil Governor, or in the case of the Autonomous Regions, of the Minister of the Republic, concerning the use of centers of entertainment and of public places.

h) Overseeing electoral funds and expenses.

i) Drawing up the map of national election results.

j) Carrying out any further duties attributed to it by the electoral laws.

2. In order to carry out its functions better, the National Election Commission can nominate delegates where it judges necessary.


Article 6 - Electoral calendar


Once the date of the elections has been determined, the National Election Commission has a calendar-map published in the mass media within the following eight days, showing the dates and specifying what should be done within a given time.


Article 7 - Connection with the administration


1. In the exercise of its duties, the National Election Commission has the powers necessary for its proper working over bodies and officials of the Administration.

2. To ensure that this is so. the government department responsible for electoral administration shall give the National Election Commission the support and help it requires.


Article 8 - Functioning


1. The National Election Commission is fully operational with a majority of its members.

2. The National Election Commission decides by majority and the president has the final vote.

3. The National Election Commission decides its own statutes which are published in the "Diбrio da Repъblica".


Article 9 - Budget and work apparatus


The running costs of the National Election Commission are covered by the budget allowance granted to Parliament, from which the Commission can requisition work apparatus and such technical and administrative support as it may require in its work.


(Note - Law no. 59/90 of Nov. 21st granted administrative independence to the N.E.C.)


Article 10 - revoked


Article 11 - revoked


Article 12 - Revocation


All legislation and rules which coincide with or contradict the present law are revoked.




Proclaimed on 23rd of November of 1978.
To be published.

The President of the Republic, ANTУNIO RAMALHO EANES