Pedro Santana Lopes

Pedro Miguel de Santana Lopes GCC (Portuguese pronunciation: [ˈpedɾu sɐ̃ˈtɐnɐ ˈlɔpɨʃ]; born 29 June 1956) is a Portuguese lawyer and politician, who most notably served as Prime Minister of Portugal from 2004 to 2005.

Pedro Santana Lopes

Pedro Santana Lopes in 2005
Prime Minister of Portugal
In office
17 July 2004  12 March 2005
PresidentJorge Sampaio
DeputyHenrique Chaves
Rui Gomes da Silva
Preceded byJosé Manuel Barroso
Succeeded byJosé Sócrates
Chair of Santa Casa da Misericórdia de Lisboa
In office
14 September 2011  20 October 2017
Prime MinisterPedro Passos Coelho
António Costa
Preceded byRui Cunha
Succeeded byEdmundo Martinho
Mayor of Lisbon
In office
14 March 2005  28 October 2005
DeputyCarmona Rodrigues
Preceded byCarmona Rodrigues
Succeeded byCarmona Rodrigues
In office
23 January 2002  17 July 2004
DeputyCarmona Rodrigues
Preceded byJoão Soares
Succeeded byCarmona Rodrigues
Leader of the Opposition
In office
12 March 2005  10 April 2005
Prime MinisterJosé Sócrates
Preceded byJosé Sócrates
Succeeded byLuís Marques Mendes
President of the Social Democratic Party
In office
12 November 2004  8 April 2005
Preceded byJosé Manuel Barroso
Succeeded byLuís Marques Mendes
Mayor of Figueira da Foz
In office
January 1998  January 2002
Preceded byAguiar de Carvalho
Succeeded byAntónio Duarte Silva
Secretary of State of Culture
In office
9 January 1990  30 December 1994
Prime MinisterAníbal Cavaco Silva
Preceded byTeresa Gouveia
Succeeded byManuel Frexes
Secretary of State of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers
In office
6 November 1985  17 August 1987
Prime MinisterAníbal Cavaco Silva
Preceded byFernando Faria de Oliveira
Alfredo Barroso
Succeeded byLuís Marques Mendes
President of Sporting Lisbon
In office
2 June 1995  11 April 1996
Preceded bySousa Cintra
Succeeded byJosé Roquette
Personal details
Born (1956-06-29) 29 June 1956 (age 65)
Lisbon, Portugal
Political partyAlliance (2018–2021)
Other political
Social Democratic Party (1976–2018)
Spouse(s)Maria Isabel Marques Dias (divorced)
Maria Teresa de Arriaga (divorced)
Maria de Fátima Bagulho (divorced)
ChildrenWith Maria Isabel:
Gonçalo Nuno
With Maria Teresa:
Duarte Nuno
José Maria
With Maria de Fátima:
Carolina Maria
Diogo Maria
EducationLiceu Padre António Vieira
Alma materUniversity of Lisbon

Background and early life

Pedro Santana Lopes was born in Campo Grande, Lisbon, to Aníbal Luís Lopes (b. Lisbon, São Sebastião da Pedreira, 17 February 1933), a company administrator whose maternal grandfather's maternal grandfather was a relative of João Brandão,[1] and wife (m. Lisbon, São Sebastião da Pedreira, 27 February 1954) Maria Ivone Risques Pereira de Santana (Lisbon, São Sebastião da Pedreira, 3 May 1931 – Lisbon, 23 March 1999), a half-great-great-great-niece of the 2nd Baron of Brissos.

He graduated as a Licentiate in Law from the Faculty of Law of the University of Lisbon, where he was Leader of the Student Union, becoming a lawyer.

Political career

He joined the Social Democratic Party (PSD) in 1976. There he started his career as a Deputy to the Assembly of the Republic.

In 1979, he became a legal advisor to Prime Minister Francisco Sá Carneiro, and has identified himself as a follower of his for all his political life.

In 1986, he became Assistant State Secretary to Prime Minister Aníbal Cavaco Silva, an office he left the next year to lead to PSD list to the European Parliament, where he remained for two years of his five-year-term.

In 1990, Cavaco Silva appointed him to the government post of Secretary of State for Culture. He left the office in 1994, in disagreement with Cavaco, and returned to law practice. In the 1997 local elections, he ran successfully to become Mayor of Figueira da Foz. He decided not to seek a second term there, and instead ran to Mayor of Lisbon in the 2001 local elections, defeating the incumbent João Soares and becoming one of the biggest surprises of the electoral night.

Prime Minister

When José Manuel Durão Barroso resigned in July 2004 to take up the Presidency of the European Commission, Santana Lopes became the President of PSD. At the time, his party had a coalition government with the CDS - People's Party, which held a parliamentary majority, and therefore he was nominated Prime Minister of the XVI Constitutional Government. His term as Mayor of Lisbon was automatically suspended, with his deputy Carmona Rodrigues taking over his duties.

The leadership of Santana Lopes was marked by a number of inherited economic and political problems. When his party took power, after the 2002 legislative elections, the country’s economy was in a poor state, with a rising government-spending deficit, partially because of policies focused on public expenditure by the previous governments (led by António Guterres of the Socialist Party) and the early 2000s recession. According to the Economist Intelligence Unit, "Portugal became the first country to breach the EU's 'excessive deficit' rule with a budget deficit of 4.4% of GDP in 2001, well above the 3% of GDP ceiling set by the EU's Stability and Growth Pact."[2] The situation inherited by Santana Lopes was a little better, as the previous government led by Barroso had been able to comply with European Union directives regarding the deficit by selling State assets.

Santana Lopes himself failed to gain a reputation as a competent Prime Minister.[citation needed] His unusual rise to power, as Barroso's successor rather than by election, contributed to these difficulties, despite his nomination being entirely constitutional.

The short career of Santana Lopes as Prime Minister began with some members of government being shuffled between departments on the same afternoon as the government was being inaugurated. His Minister of Defense Paulo Portas looked surprised during the ceremony when he was announced as the Minister for National Defense and Sea Affairs. Portas' look of surprise when the name of his office was announced was broadcast live on television.

Santana Lopes' period in office was also marked by chaos in the allocation of teachers to schools[citation needed] (more than a month after classes officially started, and resulting from alleged incompetence of the IT provider (designated during the previous Government); the problem was swiftly solved by another small provider), and by claims of pressure exerted on the press, including arranging for the replacement of the information director of the public television channel RTP, and pressing private television channel TVI to tone down the criticism of him by a political commentator, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa,[citation needed] a former leader of his own party, who consequently left the channel.

The government of Santana Lopes received its death sentence on 30 November 2004 when President Jorge Sampaio, a member of the opposing party, announced that he was calling an early Parliament election for February 2005, from which a new government would be formed, after Henrique Chaves, a Santana Lopes loyalist, resigned after four days as Minister for Sport, claiming that Santana Lopes lacked "loyalty and truth".

Santana Lopes announced the resignation of the government on 11 December so that his Government would assume just a caretaker role until the election. He went on to be defeated in the 2005 legislative elections which was won by the Socialist Party led by José Sócrates. Santana resigned as party leader two days later, although he still briefly assumed the informal position of Leader of the Opposition, until the election of Luís Marques Mendes as new party leader.

Subsequent career and activities

Despite his defeat in the 2005 legislative elections, Santana Lopes retained his seat at the Assembly of the Republic. He would also resume his functions as Mayor of Lisbon, which had been suspended since he took office as Prime Minister. However, he decided not to seek another term on the 2005 local elections, being succeeded by his deputy, Carmona Rodrigues, who had replaced him during his premiership. In October 2007, after the election of Luís Filipe Menezes as leader of the Social Democratic Party, he was invited to lead the PSD Parliamentary Group, a position he held until Menezes' resignation in June 2008.

On the 2009 local elections, Santana Lopes ran again for Mayor of Lisbon, supported by his party and by the CDS - People's Party, the Earth Party and the People's Monarchist Party. This coalition was, however, unable to prevent the Socialist Party, led by António Costa, to achieve a big victory. Santana Lopes assumed the position of Leader of the Opposition in the municipality.[3]

In September 2011, Santana Lopes was nominated by Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho to assume leadership of Santa Casa da Misericórdia de Lisboa, a charity that runs Portugal’s national lottery. In March 2016, the new Prime Minister, António Costa, nominated Santana Lopes for a new term.

In October 2017, Santana Lopes announced the intention to run again for the leadership of the Social Democratic Party.[4] He resigned leadership of Santa Casa da Misericórdia de Lisboa in order to do so, but was defeated by Rui Rio. After the internal election, both Rio and Santana tried to cooperate on several levels within the party,[5] an effort which was not successful from Santana's point of view.[6] He grew increasingly disgruntled with the course of action imposed by Rui Rio, and in June 2018 he announced he would be ending his 42 years of party membership and would seek to create a new political party.[7][8]

Alliance (2018–present)

On 18 August 2018, it was revealed the new party headed by Santana Lopes was to be called Alliance (Portuguese: Aliança).[9] The party underwent the legal registration process with the Constitutional Court and was officially registered on 23 October.

Outside politics

After resigning as Secretary of State of Culture, Santana Lopes successfully ran for president of Sporting CP.[10] Despite being in office for less than a year, the club won the 1994/1995 Taça de Portugal in football under his leadership.

Electoral history

Municipal elections for Lisbon, 2001

Ballot: 16 December 2001
Candidate Votes %
Blank Ballots
Invalid Ballots
  • (Source: )



  • Co-author with José Manuel Durão Barroso: Sistema de Governo e Sistema Partidário, Livraria Bertrand, 1980
  • Portugal e a Europa: Que Futuro?, 1989
  • Os Sistemas de Governos Mistos e o actual Sistema Português, Difel Editorial, 2001
  • Figueira, a Minha História", 2005
  • Palavras Escritas, Elo, 2005
  • Percepções e Realidade, Alêtheia Editores, 2006
  • A Cidade é de todos, Livros d'Hoje, 2009
  • Pecado Original, D. Quixote, 2013


  1. Raízes e Memórias, Associação Portuguesa de Genealogia, Lisboa
  2. Economist Intelligence Unit, 11 January 2005
  3. "Santana Lopes fica na Câmara de Lisboa como vereador". (in Portuguese). Diário de Notícias. Retrieved 19 August 2018.
  4. Paul Ames (January 12, 2018), Thomson and Thompson battle for control of Portuguese right Politico Europe.
  5. "Rui Rio e Santana Lopes chegam a acordo para listas de unidade". (in Portuguese). Correio da Manhã. Retrieved 19 August 2018.
  6. "Santana Lopes em rota de colisão com Rui Rio". (in Portuguese). Público. Retrieved 19 August 2018.
  7. "Santana Lopes corta relação com o PSD e pode fundar novo partido". (in Portuguese). Público. Retrieved 19 August 2018.
  8. "Santana Lopes abandona PSD e prepara-se para formar um novo partido". (in Portuguese). Correio da Manhã. Retrieved 19 August 2018.
  9. ""Aliança". O novo partido de Santana Lopes já tem nome e começa a ganhar forma". (in Portuguese). Observador. Retrieved 19 August 2018.
  11. "Cidadãos Nacionais Agraciados com Ordens Portuguesas". Página Oficial das Ordens Honoríficas Portuguesas. Retrieved 28 January 2017.