Since 1982, when the Military Council of the Revolution was abolished,
Portugal has been formally governed by a directly elected President.
The President, who is head of state, appoints a Prime Minister and
Council of Ministers. Legislation is handled by the unicameral 230-member
Assembly which, like the President, is elected for a 5-year term.
Following constitutional amendments promulgated in 1997, the number
of deputies will probably be reduced further to between 180 and
The Azores and Madeira are integral
parts of the Portuguese republic, but since 1976 have had autonomous
governments. Macau, now a Special Administrative Region of China,
is governed by special statute.