Municipal elections – Portugal
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.
A residency document and proof of address are required to register on the electoral roll. Inscriptions must take place at least 60 days before an election. Electors will be enrolled on the electoral list of their parish (freguesia), at the address which is indicated on the residence permit. You can get a resident permit at your local municipality, or at SEF.
Voting takes place within designated venues at the local Junta de Freguesia, which is a sub division of the local municipality.
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 - that you get at your local municipality) or an EU citizen's permanent residence certificate (Certificado de Residência Permanente de cidadão da UE - you get this one at SEF).
Voting is voluntary, so there is no penalty of any kind for not doing so.
To stand for election, EU citizens must
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.
- 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.