Costa’s new government record size at 19 ministers; most women ever

  • Lusa
  • 15 October 2019

Portugal's government also has the most female ministers of any government, eight in total.

The second government of Portugal headed by Socialist Party leader António Costa is to have 19 ministers, in addition to him as prime minister, making it the largest of all 21 governments since democracy was established after the 1974 Revolution.

The government also has the most female ministers of any government – eight.

The proposed composition of the government outlined on Tuesday by the prime minister-designate, to which the president has given his consent, shows that the executive will have a total of 19 ministers, two more than the first government set up by Costa in 2015.

Its initial composition of 17 ministers, in addition to the prime minister, already made it one of the largest governments since 1976, when Portugal’s current constitution took effect. On average, governments had had 16 ministers.

In the last major reshuffle, which took place on 18 February this year, the number of ministers remained at 17, in addition to the prime minister.

The number of women ministers is to double as compared to the government set up in 2015, from four to eight. The existing female minister remain in the same jobs: Francisca Van Dunem at Justice, Graça Fonseca at Culture and Marta Temido at Health, while Mariana Vieira da Silva remains at the Cabinet Office but also becomes a minister of state.

Three secretaries of state in the last government have been promoted to minister: Alexandra Leitão (at Modernisation of the State and Public Administration), Ana Mendes Godinho (at Employment, Solidarity and Social Security) and Maria do Céu Albuquerque (at Agriculture). One new minister has also come in: Ana Abrunhosa (at Territorial Cohesion).

In the current government, there are no family relations between ministers – a controversial feature of the last one – as Ana Paula Vitorino (wife of Eduardo Cabrita), and José Vieira da Silva (father of Mariana Vieira da Silva) are no longer ministers.