União Nacional

   The officially sanctioned political movement of regime loyalists during the Estado Novo. Founded in 1930, the "National Union," whose name may have been modeled in part on the "Patriotic Union" of Spain's Primo de Rivera dictatorship (1923-30), was not a mass political party, but a movement whose purpose was to support the policies and aims of the Estado Novo. The strategy of the founders, in particular, Prime Minister Antônio de Oliveira Sala- zar, was that an organization like the União Nacional would unite diverse groups in one movement, including warring monarchists and republicans, and would replace political parties. After 1935, when all political parties and other associations such as the Masons were banned by the government, the União Nacional was the only legal political "party." In all future elections during the Estado Novo, this organization sponsored all regime candidates, who were hand-picked by Salazar and close associates. Only beginning with the 1942 municipal elections, under severe restrict ions, were opposition candidates allowed to run against the União Nacional slates. Membership in the União Nacional for a long period was compulsory for most government employees.
   See also Salazarism.

Historical dictionary of Portugal 3rd ed.. . 2014.

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