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National Union (Portugal)

National Union
União Nacional
LeaderAntónio Salazar (first)
Marcelo Caetano (last)
Founded30 July 1930 (1930-07-30)
Dissolved25 April 1974 (1974-04-25)
HeadquartersLisbon, Portugal
Youth wingMocidade Portuguesa
Paramilitary wingLegião Portuguesa
IdeologyClerical fascism
Portuguese nationalism
Corporatism
National conservatism
Social conservatism
Lusitanian Integralism
Political positionRight-wing to Far-right[1][2]
ReligionRoman Catholicism
Colours     Blue      White

The National Union (Portuguese: União Nacional) was the sole legal party of the Estado Novo regime in Portugal. Ideologically the National Union was an authoritarian, clerical fascist organisation. It was dominated by António de Oliveira Salazar during most of its existence. Unlike in most single-party regimes, the National Union was more of a political arm of the government, rather than holding actual power over it.

History

The party was founded in 1930 during the period of the Ditadura Nacional. Officially it was not a political party, but an "organisation of unity of all the Portuguese". For the next 43 years, it effectively held a monopoly of power in the Estado Novo. The opposition Movement of Democratic Unity was legal between 1945 and 1948, but even then the political system was so heavily rigged that it had no realistic chance of winning.

The party won all seats in elections to the National Assembly of Portugal from 1934 to 1973. Opposition candidates were nominally allowed after 1945, but prematurely withdrew in the 1945 and 1973 legislative elections. In 1970, two years after Salazar had been replaced as leader and prime minister by Marcelo Caetano the name of the party was changed to Acção Nacional Popular (People's National Action), and subsequent to Salazar's retirement faced formal competition in the 1969 legislative election, nevertheless winning all constituencies in a landslide.[3]

The party had no real philosophy apart from support for the regime. As a result, it melted away after the Portuguese Revolution of 1974. It has never been revived, and no party claiming to be its heir has won any seats in the Assembly of the Republic in modern Portugal.

List of Presidents

No. Portrait Name
(Birth–Death)
Term of office
1 Dr. Oliveira Salazar - Ilustração Portugueza (06Set1942).png António de Oliveira Salazar
(1889–1970)
30 July 1930 27 September 1968
2 Marcello caetano.jpg Marcelo Caetano
(1906–1980)
27 September 1968 25 April 1974

Electoral results

Corporative Chamber
Election year Overall votes Percentage Seats won +/– Leader
1934 476,706 (#1) 100%
100 / 100
New
António de Oliveira Salazar
1938 694,290 (#1) 100%
100 / 100
Steady
António de Oliveira Salazar
1942 758,215 (#1) 100%
100 / 100
Steady
António de Oliveira Salazar
1945 Unknown (#1) 100%
120 / 120
Increase 20
António de Oliveira Salazar
1953 Unknown (#1) 100%
120 / 120
Steady
António de Oliveira Salazar
1957 Unknown (#1) 100%
120 / 120
Steady
António de Oliveira Salazar
1961 973,997 (#1) 100%
130 / 130
Increase 10
António de Oliveira Salazar
1965 Unknown (#1) 100%
130 / 130
Steady
António de Oliveira Salazar
1969 981,263 (#1) 87.99%
130 / 130
Steady
Marcelo Caetano
1973 1,393,294 (#1) 100%
150 / 150
Increase 20
Marcelo Caetano

Notes

  1. ^ Griffiths, Richard (2000). An Intelligent Person's Guide to Fascism. Gerald Duckworth & Co Ltd. p. 133. ISBN 9780715629185.
  2. ^ Leite, Naomi (2017). Unorthodox Kin: Portuguese Marranos and the Global Search for Belonging. University of California Press. p. 63. ISBN 9780520285057.
  3. ^ "Portugal, 1969" (PDF). PORTUGAL - Assembly of the Republic - Historical Archive Of Parliamentary Election Results. Inter-Parliamentary Union (www.ipu.org). Retrieved 8 October 2012.