Whether or not it is necessary to hear the President of the Republic or request medical verification when he/she asks the Constitutional Court to declare his/her temporary incapacity to exercise his/her duties on medical grounds
Expert medical examination
RULING Nº 976/96
27 of July of 1996
Where a declaration of temporary incapacity to exercise duties has been requested by the President of the Republic himself, there is no need for the Constitutional Court to solicit a hearing nor for the medical verification provided for in section 88 of Law no. 28/82.
In the case under consideration, the circumstances described in the medical report accompanying the request could reasonably be held to amount to a temporary incapacity to exercise presidential duties, as the President himself had judged.
Under Article 135.1 of the Constitution, temporary incapacity of the President of the Republic shall entail his replacement by the President of the Assembly of the Republic.
Article 225.2.a of the Constitution provides that it shall be for the Constitutional Court to note and declare any temporary incapacity of the President of the Republic to exercise his duties.
The President of the Republic, Dr Jorge Sampaio, requested the Constitutional Court to declare his temporary incapacity as from 27 July 1996, when he was due to undergo a surgical operation. The President appended a medical report to his request, which described the condition making surgery necessary, the circumstances of the operation and the likely post-operative period, and went on to conclude, from a strictly medical point of view, that the operation would entail the President's temporary incapacity to exercise his duties.
On the basis of that information, the Constitutional Court, after considering that additional clinical examinations could be dispensed with, confirmed and declared the temporary incapacity of the President of the Republic, Dr Jorge Sampaio, as from 27 July 1996. The duties of the President of the Republic would be assumed during his incapacity by the President of the Assembly of the Republic, Dr António de Almeida Santos.
In its judgment no. 980/96 the Constitutional Court declared that the President's temporary incapacity had ceased.