Article 15 (Foreigners, stateless persons, European citizens) (4) Under reciprocal terms, the law may accord foreigners who reside in Portugal the eligibility to vote for and stand for election as officeholders of local authority organs. (5) Under reciprocal terms, the law may also accord citizens of European Union Member States who reside in Portugal the eligibility to vote for and stand for election as Members of the European Parliament. Article 49 (Right to vote) (1) Every citizen who has attained the age of eighteen years has the right to vote, subject to the incapacities provided for in the general law. (2) The right to vote shall be exercised personally and constitutes a civic duty. Article 50 (Right of access to public office) (1) Every citizen has the right of access to public office under equal and free conditions. (2) No one may be prejudiced in his appointments, job or professional career or the social benefits to which he is entitled, due to the exercise of political rights or of public office. (3) In governing the right of access to elected office, the law may only lay down the ineligibilities needed to guarantee both the electors’ freedom of choice, and independence and absence of bias in the exercise of the offices in question. Article 109 (Citizens’ participation in politics) The direct and active participation in political life by men and women is a condition for and a fundamental instrument in the consolidation of the democratic system, and the law must promote both equality in the exercise of civic and political rights and the absence of gender-based discrimination in access to political office. Article 113 (General principles of electoral law) (1) Direct, secret and periodic suffrage is the general rule for the appointment of the officeholders of the elected entities that exercise sovereignty, elected organs of autonomous regions and elected local government organs.