Portuguese Communist Party - Constitution

Chapter I
The Party

Art. 1

1. The Portuguese Communist Party (PCP) founded on March 6, 1921, is the political party of the proletariat, the party of the working class and of all Portuguese workers.

2. The PCP is the vanguard of the working class and of all working people. The Party's vanguard role results from its class nature, the correctness of its analysis and political line, the project of a new society, the coherence between principles and practice, and the capacity to organize and lead the popular struggle in a constant, close and indestructible liaison with the masses, mobilizing them and winning their support.

3. The PCP organizes in its ranks the industrial and office workers, small and medium farmers, intellectuals and technical workers, small and medium shopkeepers and industrialists, the men and women who fight against capitalist exploitation and oppression, for democracy, for Socialism and Communism.

4. The Portuguese Communist Party, through the identification of its ideals and objectives with the Portuguese people's most heartfelt aspirations and with national interests, is the legitimate pursuer of the Portuguese people's best traditions of struggle and of their progressive and revolutionary achievements throughout their History.

Art. 2

The PCP has Marxism-Leninism as its theoretical basis: a materialist and dialectical view of the world, a scientific tool to analyze reality and a guide for action which is being constantly enriched and under renewal, giving answers to new phenomenal situations, processes and trends of development. In articulation with events and with the incessant progress of knowledge, this view of the world is necessarily creative and, for this reason, contrary to any dogmatization as well as to the opportunistic revision of its fundamental principles and concepts.

Art. 3

1. The Portuguese Communist Party educates its members and carries out its activity in the spirit of loyalty to the cause of the working class, of the working people and of the Portuguese people and to the defense of national interests.

2. The Portuguese Communist Party views its national tasks and its internationalist duties as inseparable and complementary. It orients its members and its activity in the spirit of proletarian internationalism, of cooperation between the Communist parties and revolutionary and progressive forces, of solidarity with the workers of others countries and with the peoples in struggle against exploitation and political, social and national oppression, against imperialism, colonialism and neo-colonialism, racism, xenophobia and fascism - for freedom, democracy, social progress, national independence, peace and socialism.

Art. 4

The Party's strength lies essentially in a correct political line, in its ideological, political and organizational cohesion, in the organized activity of its members, in inner-Party democracy and collective work, in its profound links with the workers and the masses of the people and in the active support which it receives from the former and the latter.

Art. 5

The PCP has as its supreme objectives building Socialism and Communism in Portugal, thus making it possible to put an end to the exploitation of man by man and ensuring the Portuguese people effective political power, well-being, culture, the equality of citizens' rights and the respect for humain beings, freedom and peace. The Party's action and identity are inseparable from these goals and from the Communist ideal.

Art. 6

At present, and following on the program of the democratic and national revolution adopted by the PCP's Sixth Congress, and on the ideas, gains and historic achievements of the April revolution, the PCP fights for an advanced democracy on the threshold of the 21st century, which is at the same time a political, an economic, a social and a cultural democracy with five fundamental components or goals:

1. a regime of freedom in which the people decide their own future and a democratic, representative and modern State, based on the people's participation;

2. an economic development based on a mixed, modern and dynamic economy, serving the people and the country;

3. a social policy to provide better living conditions for the people;

4. a cultural policy thatguarantees access to the creation and fruition of culture;

5. an independent and sovereign country with a policy of peace, friendship and cooperation with all peoples.

Art. 7

The struggle to defend the April revolution's gains, to materialize its values, and for an advanced democracy, is an integral part of the struggle for socialism.

Art. 8

1. In order to achieve a more profound democracy and to build socialism, workers' unity is absolutely necessary.

2. The Portuguese society's evolution indicates that the basic social alliances are, today, the alliance between the working class and the peasantry - small and medium farmers - and the alliance between the working class and the intellectuals and other middle strata.

3. In the struggle to defend and extend democracy, the PCP is engaged in creating a vast social front encompassing the working class, white-collar workers, intellectuals and technical staff, the small and medium farmers, the small and medium shopkeepers, industrial and service entrepreneurs, as well as women, young people, old age and other pensioners, the disabled, social forces which take part in the country's life with their specific aspirations and goals.

4. The PCP fights to ensure that the political expression of the system of social alliances and of the social front may translate into the convergence and unity of the democratic and patriotic forces.

Chapter II
Party Members, Their Rights and Duties

Art. 9

All those who accept the Party Programme and Constitution can become members of the Portuguese Communist Party. Their fundamental duties are participation in the activities of one of the Party organizations and the payment of dues.

Art. 10

1. Affiliation to the Party is on an individual basis.

2. The proposed affiliation of a new member must be seconded by at least one Party member who knows him/her and who will testify as to his/her integrity.

3. If the applicant does not know any Party member who may assess his/her application, the Party organization which must decide on the application will try to obtain, with the applicant's cooperation, the necessary basic information.

4. The applicant must be given the Party Programme and Constitution.

5. Admissions must be decided by a Party organization that will inform the new member, decide on the organization to which he/she shall belong, agree upon the dues that he/she shall pay and give him/her the Party members' card.

Art. 11

1. Party membership is terminated for those who leave the Party, those who, due to an obvious mistake, were unduly admitted and those who having ceased to take part in the Party's life, have not had their membership card renewed twice in succession for unjustified reasons for which they are responsible.

2. Those decisions are taken by the leading body of the relevant organization and must be ratified by a higher body. Appeals can be submitted to the Central Control Committee.

Art. 12

Party members cannot belong to other political parties or partisan organizations.

Art. 13

All Party members have equal duties and rights.

Art. 14

Party members duties, besides the fundamental duties mentioned in Article 9, are to:

a) act in accordance with the Party Constitution;

b) contribute to materialize the Party Programme, to implement the Party's political line and to strengthen its organization, prestige and influence;

c) defend the Party's unity and cohesion;

d) regularly take part in their body's or organization's meetings and activities;

e) improve their knowledge of the environment in which their activity is carried out and convey it to the Party, strengthening their links with the workers, with members of other laboring classes and the community, defending their just demands and yearnings;

f) regularly account for their activity;

g) recruit new members for the Party;

h) read, help circulate and ensure the reading of the Party's press - Avante! and O Militante - and documents;

i) seek to enhance their cultural, political and ideological level;

j) pratice and encourage criticism and self-criticism;

k) renew their Party card, in their organization;

l) protect and defend confidential matters relating to inner-Party life;

m) have an ethically correct conduct towards the Party and society;

n) inform the organization to which they belong in case of change in working or home adress, and if this change implies moving to a different organization, to seek contact with the new Party organization to which they should belong.

Art. 15

Party members have the right to:

a) freely express their opinions in the debates carried out in the organization to which they belong, in their organization's Plenary Meetings, in the Assemblies, Conferences and Congresses to which they are elected and in all Party meetings which they attend; contribute to define the Party's political line and criticize, in their Party organization and in Party meetings which they attend, the activity of their organization, of any other Party organization or of any Party member, regardless of his/her post;

b) take part in elections held in their organization and make proposals, elect and be elected;

c) be informed about the guidelines and general activity of the Party, as well as of the leadership body of their organization;

d) consult the Party's higher-ranking bodies, namely through their organization, or directly, if considered necessary, on all matters which they consider of interest to the Party;

e) be heard (in accordance with Article 61) whenever charged with breaches of discipline and appeal to higher-ranking bodies about any decision of a disciplinary nature which has been imposed on them;

f) take part in the meetings of the organization to which they belong when resolutions on their activity or conduct are taken;

g) present proposals and points of view and request information from any higher-ranking body, including the Central Committee, and to receive a reply within a reasonable time span.

Chapter III
Organizational Principles

Art. 16

1. The Party's organizational structure and functioning are based on principles which, creatively developing democratic centralism, responding to new situations and enriched by experience, seek to simultaneously ensure the basic characteristics of a profound inner-Party democracy and a single general line and a single central leadership.

2. The following are fundamental organizational principles:

a) the election of all Party leadership bodies, from the bottom to the top, and the right of any collective to withdraw the mandate of those they have elected;

b) leading bodies are compelled to regularly report their activity to their organizations and give detailed consideration to the opinions and criticisms which the latter express as a contribution to their own analysis and decisions, and to improve the collective nature of their activity;

c) higher-ranking bodies' resolutions taken within their powers and responsabilities are mandatory for lower-ranking bodies and all organizations must account to higher-ranking bodies for their activity;

d) opinions must be freely voiced, considered and debated, seeking to ensure that as many members as possible take part and that indivudual contributions are integrated in the collective work, analysis, decision-making and activity of Party bodies and organizations;

e) all must abide by decisions taken by consensus or by a majority;

f) collective work and collective leadership;

g) all Party organizations have decision-making powers and the broadest possible initiative within their sphere of action, withithe framework of the Party's constitutional principles of the Party's political line, and the resolutions of higher-ranking bodies.

h) The respect for the Party's constitutional principles by all Party members and the inadmissibility of fractions - understood as the formation of organized groups or tendencies - which carry out activities centered on their own political platforms or proposals.

Art. 17

Exceptionally and temporarily, and if properly justified, co-opting or appointments may be used to create or re-create party bodies, in part or in full. The opinion of Party bodies to which members which are to be co-opted or appointed belong, and of the organizations with which they work directly must be considered, and the relevant organization must be informed. Should these reorganizations involve a large number of the body's members, elections must be held as soon as possible.

Art. 18

A body in charge of a certain sector is considered more responsible than all those in charge of only a part of that sector.

Art. 19

1. The Party must promote greater responsibility for each organization, in their sphere of action, namely by decentralizing powers and by stimulating and assisting the organizations and cadres in the exercise of these powers.

2. Both centralist tendencies, which decrease the spirit of initiative of organizations with less responsabilities, and sectorialist tendencies, which hinder the unity of action, the effectiveness and the higher and more general Party interest, must be opposed within the Party.

Art. 20

All members and in particular the leadership bodies are responsible for stimulating and promoting a free and frank debate of the Party's problems, realities, guidelines and activity in the meeting of Party bodies and organizations, with the normal acceptance and consideration for differences of opinion, as well as a guaranteed right to disagree, criticize and make proposals. The are essential conditions for the development of Party work, for achieving the unity in thought and action of the whole Party, for the existence of a conscientious and voluntary discipline.

Art. 21

1. The Party encourages its members to respect collective opinions and decisions, stimulates and values each member's study, analysis, participation and contribution, opposes, at all levels, individualism in Party work, immodesty, the imposition of personal opinions and decisions upon collective opinions, the refusal to be held accountable for one's activities, authoritarianism, bullying attitudes and personality cults.

2. Collective leadership responsabilities do not eliminate, but rather imply, individual responsibility and the initiative of each Party member.

Art. 22

1. Criticism and self-criticism must be encouraged and praticed in all Party bodies and organizations, as a means of perfecting work, overcoming shortcomings, correcting mistakes educating members and strengthening the collective.

2. Criticism and self-criticism, both individual and collective, should be a common and natural procedure and not a formal compulsory attitude.

3. The right to criticize in accordance with the Party's rules of conduct cannot be prevented, and any act of discrimination due to the exercise of that right is unacceptable.

Art. 23

1. Party cadres - Party members who exercise more important functions at various levels, and in various sectors of activity - have an important role in the Party's activity.

2. The Party most promote and implement, at all levels, the preparation and training of cadres. It must be rigorous and objective in assessing, knowing and promoting them. It must be uncompromising with preferences due to personal friendship or family relations and oppose any carreerist or individualist tendencies. It must justly value those members who are firm, honest, dedicated to the Party, linked to the masses; who have a spirit of solidarity, and revealed capability in defending the interests of the workers, the people, the country, the ideals of Socialism and Communism.

3. In order to be acquainted with, and correctly assess, cadres and their characteristics, it is important to ensure that any information given is rigorous and unbiased, and to take into account not just the opinions of higher-ranking bodies, but also those of Party members fromother bodies who directly contact those cadres.

Art. 24

1. In order to carry out its activity, and as a major contribution to its fundamental traits, the Party needs firm and dedicated full-time cadres, who give their efforts, capabilities, knowledge and experience to the Party's work in a great diversity of tasks and at different levels of responsibility, as part and parcel of the collective work of the Party bodies and organizations in which they work.

2. Particular care and assistence must be given to the Party workers' political, ideological, cultural and technical preparation, taking into account the Party's needs and possibilities and the tasks they perform.

Art. 25

Leadership bodies at all levels have the following responsabilities and duties:

a) to meet regularly, take the initiative and decide within their sphere of action and to convey to their organization information about their decisions and activities;

b) to be acquainted in a detailed way, with their sector of activity and, in particular, with the problems affecting the workers and the people among which they work;

c) to entrust members with duties and monitor their work;

d) to ensure that their decisions and the decisions of higher-ranking Party bodies are caried out;

e) to strengthen the organizations that operate under their leadership, and create new organizations;

f) to guide and provide pratical assistance to bodies, organizations and cadres that operate under their leadership, particularly as regards their work among the masses and in organizing their struggles;

g) to be acquainted with, train and objectively and unbiasedly assess the Party cadres that operate under their leadership and seek to make the best use of their virtues and aptitudes when tasks are distributed;

h) to promote participation; encourage debate; extend inner-Party democracy; paying special attention and taking into account Party members' opinions, conveying them as apropriate; foment criticism and self-criticism;

i) to organize the collection of membership dues and the masses' financial assistance to the Party;

j) to defend and protect Party property;

k) to extend the circulation and readership of "Avante!", "O Militante" and other Party publications and to publish by their own means educational, informational and propaganda documents;

l) to enhance members' political and cultural standards and their knowledge and to promote the study of Marxism-Leninism and of the Party's major documents;

m) to be vigilant in relation to activities against the Party.

Chapter IV
The Party's Highest-Ranking Organs

Art. 26

The Party's highest-ranking organs, at a national level, are the Congress and the Central Committee and its executive bodies.

Art. 27

1. The Congress is the Party's highest-ranking organ.

2. The Congress is constituted by delegates from the Party's bodies, elected in proportion to the number of members of each organization, as well as, by inherent right, by out-going Central Committee members and the Party members in the National Leadership of the Portuguese Communist Youth (JCP), and also by a limited number of delegates appointed by the Central Committee.

3. Congress deliberations are taken by a majority vote of Congress delegates.

4. Congresses shall be held no more than 4 years apart, unless exceptional circunstances arise.

5. The Central Committee is responsible for convening and organizing the Congress. It will draft and adopt the terms of representation, the rules for the preparatory stage and draft Congress rules.

6. Extraordinary Congresses may be held by decision of the Central Committee, who will establish their purpose and agenda.

Art. 28

Concluding the debate which must necessarily take place throughout the whole Party during the preparatory stage, the Ordinary Congresses will:

a) adopt its rules, elect the Congress Presidium and other Congress committees and adopt the agenda;

b) assess the Central Committee's reports and proposals, as well as proposals presented by the delegates in accordance with the Congress rules, adopting any relevant resolutions;

c) confirm, adopt or amend the Party Programme and Constitution;

d) define the Party's political line and take any decisions it considers necessary concerning the Party's affairs, its line and organization;

e) elect the Party's Central Committee, based on the incumbent Central Committee's proposal which the delegates will analyse. Delegates can make proposals in accordance with the rules adopted by the Congress.

Art. 29

1. In drawing up the proposal for the new Central Committee to be elected by the Congress, the Central Committee must undertake a broad consultation of Party cadres, specifically among the leading bodies of Regional or District Organizations, the leadership bodies of major sectors and other organizations.

2. In relation to every candidate who is to be included in the proposal for a new Central Committee, the opinion of his/her Party body and of those bodies with which he/she directly works, or has worked recently, must be considered.

Art. 30

The Central Committee may convene and organize National Party Conferences (establishing their purpose, terms of preparation and representation and procedural terms). These will have powers to define policies relating to their Agenda, without however, changing the political line adopted by the Congress.

Art. 31

1. The Central Committee is the Party body that leads the Party's activity between Congresses and is responsible for defining the major guidelines for the Party's political, ideological and organizational work, in accordance with Congress guidelines and resolutions.

2. The executive bodies elected by the Central Committee must, within their powers and sphere of action: provide the day-to-day guidelines and the concrete decisions relating to the implementation of the political line and resolutions adopted by the Party Congress and Central Committee, to political and mass work, to the distribution of leading cadres; to overseeing the implementation by the various organizations of the decisions taken by the Party's top bodies; to supervise cadre training, discipline, information and propaganda, the Party's press, publishing activity, international relations and the management of the Party's property and financial resources.

Art. 32

1. Between Congresses, the Central Committee may co-opt new members, in accordance with Article 17.

2. The Central Committee may invite other Party members to attend its meetings, in whole or in part, without voting rights.

Art. 33

The Central Committee will hold its meetings as regularly as possible, with intervals not usually exceeding 4 months. Meetings are normally convened by any of its executive bodies or, exceptionally, under terms decided by the Central Committee itself.

Art. 34

1. The Central Committee elects from among its full members a Political Committee of the Central Committee, a Central Committee Secretariat and a Central Control Comission.

2. The Political Committee of the Central Committee is responsible for the Party's political leadership between Central Committee meetings, and directly ensures the supervision of regional organizations and other major sectors of the Party's organization and activity.

3. The Central Committee Secretariat supervises and conducts day-to-day work, is responsible for allocating cadres and supervises the materialization of current tasks indicated by the Central Committee.

4. The Central Control Comission is responsible for overseeing the constitutionality of Party activity, for intervening to solve cadre problems and particularly complex problems, acts as an appelate body for any organization or member, and monitors the Party's finances.

Art. 35

The Central Committee may elect, from among its members, a Party General Secretary.

Art. 36

The Central Committee and its executive bodies may create and supervise Commissions and other bodies considered necessary to ensure the materialization of Party guidelines and current tasks, defining their terms of reference.

Art. 37

Executive and other bodies created by the Central Committee must account for their activities and regularly inform the Central Committee about the fundamental aspects of their exercise of powers.

Art. 38

The Central Committee, like other leading bodies, shall be renewed in accordance with the Party's interest and Party cadres' lives, tasks and evolution.

Chapter V
The Party's Intermediate Organizational Structure

Art. 39

1. The Party is structured nationally on a territorial basis. This structure shall usually correspond to the country's administrative boundaries.

2. Within this national framework the Party Organization shall be preferentially structured by workplace, but it may also be structured by place of residence, nature of its activity, or other sphere of action of its members, always taking into account the specific conditions which prevail, when defining forms of organization.

Art. 40

1. The Assembly is the highest-ranking organ of regional, district, municipal, parish, local, area, trade or branch-of-activity organizations, as well as of insular organizations in the Autonomous Regions.

2. Assemblies shall be composed by representatives elected in their respective organizations and by inherent right, by their respective leadership body.

3. Assemblies will adopt their own procedural rules, assess their past activity, establish their guidelines for future activity and elect their leadership.

4. In smaller organizations, the direct participation of all members in the Assembly can be envisaged.

Art. 41

1. Assemblies are convened and organized by the leadership body of their organization, which will establish the terms of representation and draft procedural rules. They must be held at regular intervals, not exceeding the maximum period established for Party Congresses.

2. Extraordinary assemblies may be held, by decision and convened by the leadership body, which will establish their purpose. Any body may propose to the higher-ranking body that an Extraordinary Assembly of the organization over which it presides be convened. If the proposal is accepted, the higher-ranking body will ensure that it is convened.

3. In abnormal situations, Assemblies may be convened by higher-ranking bodies.

Art. 42

Assemblies of Organizations in the Autonomous Regions may be called Regional Congresses. They have the power to define, within the framework of the Party's political line, the specific guidelines for their Autonomous Regions, wich result from the Constitutional existence of self-governing organs.


1. Party members who, despite belonging to a higher-ranking body, have leadership work in a given organization as their main and regular task may be elected to the leading bodies of that organization.

2. The leadership bodies may appoint one of their members to work with any body in the organizations over which they preside.

Art. 44

The Central Committee and its executive bodies as well as the leaderships of Regional or District Organizations, within their scope of action, may decide the creation of structures that do not coincide with the country's administrative division or with the organization's regular levels, in particular to address specific spheres of work and to provide temporary or stable coordination (cells of a single company, organizations of a common branch of activity and others), defining their functions, powers and the bodies under which they will work.

Art. 45

1. Besides the regular meetings of Party bodies, Party organizations have other forms of work such as plenary meetings, cadre meetings and others.

2. Leading bodies at various levels may create standing or temporary working commissions that stimulate members' participation, with a view to dealing with aspects of the Party'' activity or initiatives or to study specific issues.

Chapter VI
The Party's Rank and File Organizations

Art. 46

Cells are the Party's rank and file organizations, its foundations and fundamental link with the working class, with working people, with the masses of the people. They are the Party's essential pillar in promoting, guiding and developing mass actions and struggles.

Art. 47

Cells are made up of all Party members, numbering not less than three, who are organized in companies and other work places, in places of residence, in social and professional sectors and in the most diverse areas of administrative, social/cultural and other activities.

Art. 48

As a means of increasing the efficiency of their activity and work, cells should be structured in nuclei, whenever their number of members, conditions of work or the nature of the place where they operate justifies and allows it.

Art. 49

The prevailing conditions must be taken into account when considering the concrete sphere of action of each cell or grassoots organization and the operational structure which best ensures their political work and activity.

Art. 50

1. Assemblies are the highest cell organ and assess their activity, define guidelines and elect the cell Secretariat.

2. Cell Secretariats lead the cells' work and must regularly account for their activity to the cell members, the cell Assembly and the leading body directly above them.

Art. 51

Besides the general rights and duties, referred to in articles 14 and 15, and the general competences mentioned in article 25 and which are relevant for the concrete pvailing situation, cell Secretariats and the cells themselves, must:

a) meet regularly, debate, publicize and materialize the Party's political line and guidelines;

b) keep in close contact with the masses and work towards their unity, mobilization and organization in the struggle to defend their interests;

c) make new recruitments to the Party's ranks;

d) promote the readership and directly organize the circulation of "Avante!", "O Militante" and other Party publications and publish and circulate other information concerning its sphere of activities;

e) care for the regular payment of dues by cell members and organize fund-raising activities for the Party;

f) contribute to define the Party's political line;

g) be acquainted with the situation in their sectors and keep the higher-ranking bodies informed on issues of interest to the Party's general activity.

Art. 52

Party members living abroad may create cells and other forms of organization, in accordance with the concrete situations which prevail.

Chapter VII
Party Member's Work

in Mass Organizations and Movements

Art. 53

1. Party members who are active in mass organizations and movements (trade unions and other class and professional organizations, cooperatives, sports and recreational clubs, cultural institutions, and others) must act, in accordance with the Party's guidelines, to defend the interests of those organizations' members and of the masses, respecting, defending and complying with the autonomy, the broad-based nature and the democratic life of the organizations and movements in which they take part.

2. Behaviour which does not take into consideration the responsabilities of Communists towards the members of those organizations and movements and towards the masses, as well as behaviour which illudes responsabilities towards the Party, must be opposed.

Chapter VIII
Party Members Elected for Public Office

Art. 54

1. Party members elected for public office (Parliament, Regional Legislative Assemblies, Local Government, European Parliament and other organs or institutions) on tickets sponsored or supported by the Party will, in discharging their functions, act according to the political guidelines laid down by the Central Committee and, at the various territorial levels, by the respective leading bodies. It is their political and moral duty to always be accountable for their activity and to always have their mandates at the Party's disposal.

2. Party members elected for public office should, in discharging their functions and with a broad spirit of initiative, make every effort and do everything to defend the people's interests, coordinating their institutional activity with the Party's mass activity and informing the voters about their activity.

3. Party members elected to public office are politically accountable to the Party in the organizational structures to which they belong.

4. Party members should not financially benefit or lose out from holding public office to which they have been elected.

Chapter IX
The Party and the Youth

Art. 55

1. It is a duty of the Party to extend its roots and influence among the youth; to strengthen its activity among young people; to defend their interests and rights; to struggle to achieve their yearnings; to encourage the development of the youth movement and of youth struggles; to contribute towards a more active, and organizationally, politically and ideologically stronger Portuguese Communist Youth (JCP); to encourage the Party's permanent renewal.

2. The Portuguese Communist Youth (JCP), which is an autonomous organization of young Communists, carries out its activity within the framework of the Party's general political line with a great degree of self-initiative and decision-making. It is its duty to inform, unite, organize and mobilize young people to struggle for their rights and yearnings, for the interests of the workers, the people and the country, for freedom, democracy, national independence, peace, Socialism and Communism.

Chapter X
Party Discipline

Art. 56

Party discipline is based on the acceptance of the Party's Programme and Constitution, within the context of respect for organizational principles. It is an essential factor for the development of the Party's political action, mass influence, unity, fighting spirit, strength and prestige.

Art. 57

Party discipline is the same for all members, regardless of which organization or body they belong to.

Art. 58

Party members who violate Party discipline are subject to disciplinary sanctions.

Art. 59

Exceptionally, Party members may be suspended from Party activities, as a preventive and precautionary measure, but without a punitive nature, whenever there is strong evidence that serious offences have been committed. Such a step cannot exceed 60 days with a single possible extension for another period of equal length.

Art. 60

No sanctions or precautionary suspension may be imposed without a prior hearing where the Party member in question may present his/her case to the competent bodies, unless this is blatantly impossible or is refused by the member.

Art. 61

1. Party members are punished according to their responsibility and the seriousness of the offence committed.

2. The purpose of sanctions is to strengthen the unity, discipline and revolutionary morale of the Party and of each of its members.

Art. 62

All disciplinary sanctions, as well as precautionary suspensions, can be appealed to higher-ranking bodies. The latter must inform the Party members who were sanctioned or suspended of their decision.

Art. 63

1. Disciplinary sanctions against Party members as well as precautionary suspensions may be decided by their own Party body, by their organization's leadership body or a higher-ranking body. The next highest-ranking body must necessarily be informed by the body which took the decision.

2. Disciplinary sanctions against Party members are the following:

a) censure;

b) diminished responsabilities;

c) suspension from the Party activities, up to a maximum period of one year;

d) expulsion from the Party.

3. The disciplinary measures in items a), b) and c) must be ratified by the Party body ranking immediately above that which decided the sanction. The disciplinary measure in item d), after assessment by the next highest-ranking body, is decided or ratified by the Central Committee, or by the Executive Body which was entrusted with this competence.

4. The Central Control Commission must be informed of all disciplinary sanctions. The Central Committee, after consulting with the body which took the disciplinary measures, may change or declare null any sanctions, or precautionary suspensions, even when there has not been an appeal.

Art. 64

All disciplinary sanctions against Central Committee members are decided by the Central Committee.

Art. 65

Expulsion is the most serious punishement that can be imposed on any Party member and should only be used in those cases where the Party's life and principles are seriously affected. When a decision regards a Central Committee member, it must be taken by at least two thirds of the Central Committee's active full members.

Art. 66

In case of any expulsion or termination of Party membership, devolution of the membership card must be requested.

Art. 67

Readmission of individuals who have been expelled from the Party must be analyzed by the Central Control Commission, and its decision analyzed by the Central Committee or other body it may entrust.

Art. 68

Only the Central Committee, or the Executive body which it may entrust with this competence, may decide to publicize Party sanctions.

Chapter XI
The Party Press

Art. 69

1. The Party press is a tool for its organizational work; for political and ideological guidance and education; to inform and publicize its activity; and to give news, analyze and debate national and international issues.

2. The Central Committee's executive bodies are responsible for the editorial board of "Avante!", the Party's Central organ, of "O Militante", as well as of other national publications.

3. Bulletins and other publications for which leadership bodies at various levels are responsible, seek to ensure a broader publicization of the Party's political line and to vividly respond to specific problems in their areas of activity.

Chapter XII
Party Funds

Art. 70

Party funds come from dues received from its members; from Party-sponsored initiatives; from fund-raising campaigns; from the contributions of its members elected to public office, as well as from Party members and supporters; from various contributions; from the sales of its publications and from the subsidies to which it is legally entitled.

Art. 71

The Central Committee must present the Congress with a balance sheet. Leading bodies will also present the balance sheet to the Assemblies of their respective organizations.

Chapter XIII
Party Symbols

Art. 72

The Portuguese Communist Party flag is a rectangular red cloth, in the centre of which is a golden, crossed hammer and sickle, the symbol of work and of the alliance between the workers and the peasants; to the top left, embroided in gold, is the five-pointed red star which is the symbol of proletarian internationalism; below the hammer and sickle are the words "Partido Comunista Português" embroidered in gold. Stitched to the top left, are two ribbons in the national colours: one green and other red.

Art. 73

The Party anthem is "The International".