National Congress of Brazil
The National Congress of Brazil is the legislative body of Brazil's federal government. Unlike the state Legislative Assemblies and Municipal Chambers, the Congress is bicameral, composed of the Federal Senate and the Chamber of Deputies; the Congress meets annually in Brasília, from 2 February to 27 July and from 1 August to 22 December. The Senate represents the Federal District; each state and the Federal District has a representation of three Senators, who are elected by popular ballot for a term of eight years. Every four years, renewal of either one third or two-thirds of the Senate takes place; the Chamber of Deputies represents the people of each state, its members are elected for a four-year term by a system of proportional representation. Seats are allotted proportionally according to each state's population, with each state eligible for a minimum of 8 seats and a maximum of 70 seats. Unlike the Senate, the whole of the Chamber of Deputies is renewed every four years; until it was common for politicians to switch parties and the proportion of congressional seats held by each party would change.
However, a decision of the Supreme Federal Court has ruled that the seats belong to the parties and not to the politicians, that one can only change parties and retain his seat in a limited set of cases. Politicians who abandon the party for which they were elected now face the loss of their Congressional seat; each house of the Brazilian Congress elects its President and the other members of its directing board from among its members. The President of the Senate is ex officio the President of the National Congress, in that capacity summons and presides over joint sessions, as well as over the joint services of both Houses; the President of the Chamber is second in the presidential line of succession while the President of the Senate is third. The current composition of the Board of the National Congress is as follows: The Federal Senate is the upper house of the National Congress. Created by the first Constitution of the Brazilian Empire in 1824, it was inspired in United Kingdom's House of Lords, but with the Proclamation of the Republic in 1889 it became closer to the United States Senate.
The Senate comprises 81 seats. Three Senators from each of the 26 states and three Senators from the Federal District are elected on a majority basis to serve eight-year terms. Elections are staggered so that two-thirds of the upper house is up for election at one time and the remaining one-third four years later; when one seat is up for election in each State, each voter casts one vote for the Senate. The candidate in each State and the Federal District who achieve the greatest plurality of votes are elected; the Chamber of Deputies is the lower house of the National Congress, it is composed of 513 federal deputies, who are elected by a proportional representation of votes to serve a four-year term. Seats are allotted proportionally according to each state's population, with each state eligible for a minimum of 8 seats and a maximum of 70 seats. In 2010, 22 out of the country's 35 political parties were able to elect at least one representative in the Chamber, while fifteen of them were able to elect at least one Senator.
See the Latest election section for election results table. In early 1900s, the Brazilian National Congress happened to be in separate buildings; the Senate was located near Railway Central Station, beside the Republica Square, at Moncorvo Filho Street, where there is today a Federal University of Rio de Janeiro students' center. The Federal Chamber of Deputies was located at Misericórdia Street, which would be the location of the State of Rio de Janeiro's local Chamber of Deputies. From the 1930s to early 1960s, the Senate occupied the Monroe Palace, demolished in the 1970s to allow the construction of the subway Cinelândia Station; the Federal Chamber of Deputies moved to Brasília in early 1960s as well, but for a couple of years temporarily occupied a building near the Municipal Theater. Since the 1960s, the National Congress has been located in Brasília; as with most of the city's government buildings, the National Congress building was designed by Oscar Niemeyer in the modern Brazilian style.
The semi-sphere on the left is the seat of the Senate, the semi-sphere on the right is the seat of the Chamber of the Deputies. Between them are two vertical office towers; the Congress occupies other surrounding office buildings, some of them interconnected by a tunnel. The building is located in the middle of main street of Brasília. In front of it there is a large lawn. At the back of it, is the Praça dos Três Poderes, where lies the Palácio do Planalto and the Supreme Federal Court. On December 6, 2007, the Institute of Historic and Artistic National Heritage decided to declare the building of the National Congress a historical heritage of the Brazilian people; the building is among the UNESCO World Heritage Sites, as part of Brasília's original urban buildings, since 1987. At least two other high-rise buildings are similar to the National Congress b
History of the Constitution of Brazil
During its independent political history, Brazil has had seven constitutions. The most recent was ratified on October 5, 1988. Prior to its independence, on September 7, 1822, Brazil had no formal Constitution, since Portugal only adopted its first Constitution on September 23, 1822, 16 days after Brazilian proclaimed independence. In 1823, the Emperor Pedro I started the political process of writing a Constitution; the elaboration of the first Constitution of Brazil was quite difficult and the power struggle involved resulted in a long-lasting unrest that plagued the country for nearly two decades. Two major facts increased the troubles: Large numbers of recent immigrants from Portugal, who wanted to keep their privileges or who were still loyal to the metropolitan government; these were found both among the wealthier parts of the population, as businessmen controlling Brazil's international trade, the lower ones, as tradesmen and free urban workers. The majority of the population was composed of slaves, prompting the whites to fear being massacred in the event of a rebellion caused by a failing state.
The first circumstance meant that despite strong support of the Crown Prince Pedro I by the Brazilian landowners, the opinions of the reinóis should be considered. As each side had distinct and different objectives none could prevail and a compromise was needed. There were extra problems involved: the Constitutional Assembly had been elected to decide the applicability of Portuguese laws in Brazil, not to draft a new constitution; as a result, some of the Portuguese deputies refused to take part in it. On the other hand, some of the Brazilian deputies, the "liberal" ones, had been persecuted, some exiled others imprisoned, thus the Constitutional Assembly did not hear an appreciable number of opinions and would end reflecting the objectives of the "Brazilian Party", to the detriment of the "Portuguese Party" and the liberals. As the draft constitution progressed it became clear that the deputies were trying to establish a constitution that would: curtail the powers of the monarch, restrict most political rights to landowners and deny them to the Portuguese, establish an authoritarian, but constitutional, whose head of government would be the Emperor himself, aided by a group of ministers of his choice.
The emperor did not want to be removed out all powers and serve as a mere decorative figurehead, but rather to protect the interests of the Portuguese businessmen and prevent any further of his power to the Parliament. In a quite predictable move, in the light of the wave of conservatism led by the Holy Alliance, the Emperor used his influence over the Brazilian Army to dissolve the Constitutional Assembly, in what became known as the Night of Agony, imposed on the country a constitution that concentrated the executive power on the Emperor himself; the Constitution endowed the Assembly with both status and authority, created legislative, moderating and judicial branches as "delegations of the nation" with the separation of those powers envisaged as providing balances in support of the Constitution and the rights it enshrined. The Constitution of 1824 was rather less parliamentary than the draft prepared by the Constituent Assembly. In fact, it was for all purposes a unique regime: a "presidential" monarchy.
That did not mean, by any means, that the Brazilian monarch had prerogatives resembling those of a tyrant or dictator. The individual guarantees that guarantee human liberty and dignity were inserted into the articles of the Charter and were respected; the Emperor would not act in areas reserved to the legislative branch and the judiciary, such as to create laws or to judge and sentence. Based on the French constitution of 1792 and the Spanish constitution of 1812, the Imperial constitution was considered one of the most liberal of the times, in front of many European liberal powers; the new constitution, published on March 25, 1824 outlined the existence of four powers: Executive — The State Council Legislative — The General Assembly, formed by the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies Judiciary — The Courts Moderator — Vested in the Emperor, was supposed to resolve any incompatibilities between the other three, acting as a "neutral" power, in accordance to the theories of the Swiss thinker Benjamin Constant.
The Emperor controlled the Executive by nominating the members of the State Council, influenced the Legislative by being allowed to propose motions and having the power to dissolve the Chamber of Deputies and influenced the Judiciary, by appointing the members of the Highest Court. This constitution established the Brazilian Empire as a Unitary state; the Amendment of August 12, 1834, enacted in a period of liberal reform, authorized the provinces to create their own legislative chambers, which were empowered to legislate on financial matters, create taxes and their own corps of civil servants under a chief executive nominated by the central power. On July 20, 1847, a Decree established the post of President of the Council of Ministers (not to be confused with the State Council, whose ten members sat for life and which in the late Empire functi
President of Brazil
The President of Brazil the President of the Federative Republic of Brazil or the President of the Republic, is both the head of state and the head of government of Brazil. The president leads the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the Brazilian Armed Forces; the presidential system was established in 1889, upon the proclamation of the republic in a military coup d'état against Emperor Pedro II. Since Brazil has had six constitutions, three dictatorships, three democratic periods. During the democratic periods, voting has always been compulsory; the Constitution of Brazil, along with several constitutional amendments, establishes the requirements and responsibilities of the president, their term of office and the method of election. Jair Bolsonaro is the current President, he was sworn in on 1 January 2019 following the 2018 presidential election. As a republic with a presidential executive, Brazil grants significant powers to the president, who controls the executive branch, represents the country abroad, appoints the cabinet and, with the approval of the Senate, the judges for the Supreme Federal Court.
The president is the commander-in-chief of the armed forces. Presidents in Brazil have significant lawmaking powers, exercised either by proposing laws to the National Congress or by using Medidas Provisórias, an instrument with the force of law that the president can enact in cases of urgency and necessity except to make changes to some areas of law. A provisional measure comes into effect before Congress votes on it, remains in force for up to 60 days unless Congress votes to rescind it; the 60-day period can be extended once, up to 120 days. If Congress, on the other hand, votes to approve the provisional measure, it becomes an actual law, with changes decided by the legislative branch; the provisional measure expires at the end of the 60-day period, or sooner, if rejected by one of the Houses of Congress. Article 84 of the current Federal Constitution, determines that the president has the power to appoint and dismiss the ministers of state; the Constitution of Brazil requires that a President be a native-born citizen of Brazil, at least 35 years of age, a resident of Brazil, in full exercise of their electoral rights, a registered voter, a member of a political party.
The president of Brazil serves for a term of four years
Tribunal de Contas da União
The Tribunal de Contas da União is the Brazilian federal accountability office. It is an arm of the Legislative Branch of the Brazilian government, to assist Congress in its Constitutional incumbency to exercise external audit over the Executive Branch, its members, called ministers, are appointed by the President of Brazil. The TCU employs a qualified body of civil servants to prevent and sanction corruption and malpractice of public funds, with national jurisdiction; the Tribunal was created in 1891, although its origins are traced back to the Royal Treasury, established in 1808 by King John VI. It is, one of the world's earlier institutions charged with national government accountability. Today, the TCU cooperates with the Comptroller-General of the Union, which centralizes federal executive internal audit; the Tribunal's work is scrutinized by the Public Ministry. In 1959 it hosted III INCOSAI, the third triennial convention of the International Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions; the work executed by the TCU in 2011 produced savings of 14 billion reais to the Brazilian taxpayer.
For each real spent by the court to avert corruption and wasteful spending, 10.5 reais were saved. Official website
State Senator (Brazil)
Established by the Constitution of Brazil, the State Senate is the State's representative body. The members are elected through the proportional system, by taking into account the joining affiliation, as a way to define the number of elected candidates that are filling the vacancies reserved for specific groups. State Representative is the name given to the political agent while the corresponding body is the State Legislative Assembly, the highest legislative authority of each state; the term for a Representative is 4 years. The term for the President of the Legislature is a 4 or 5-year period, beginning 6 months after the start of the session; the Constitution gives state legislators the task of legislating in the field of state legislative powers defined by the Constitution, including being able to propose, modify and repeal state laws, both common and complementary and amend the state constitution, annually evaluating the accounts rendered by the State Governor, creating Parliamentary Committees of Inquiry, as well as other powers established in the Constitution and the State Constitution.
1. Registered Voter 2. Registered Resident of Elected-District 3. Full Political Rights 4. Member of a Political Party 5. At least 21 years old Illiterate individuals are not allowed to hold office
2014 Brazilian general election
General elections were held in Brazil on 5 October 2014 to elect the President, the National Congress, state governors and state legislatures. As no candidate in the presidential and several gubernatorial elections received more than 50% of the vote, a second-round runoff was held on 26 October. In the first round of voting Dilma Rousseff won 41.6% of the vote, ahead of Aécio Neves with 33.6% and Marina Silva with 21.3%. Rousseff and Neves contested the runoff on 26 October and Rousseff won re-election by a narrow margin, 51.6% to Neves' 48.4%. Incumbent President Dilma Rousseff of the Workers' Party, Brazil's first female president, was challenged by 11 other candidates. Minas Gerais Senator Aécio Neves from the Brazilian Social Democracy Party and Marina Silva from the Brazilian Socialist Party were her main rivals. Since none of the candidates obtained over 50% of the valid votes in the 5 October election, a second-round election was held on 26 October between Rousseff and Neves, who had finished first and second in the 5 October vote.
In Brazil's closest presidential election results since 1989, Rousseff narrowly defeated Neves in the second round, taking 51.6% of the vote to Neves' 48.4%. The original PSB candidate had been Eduardo Campos. However, he died in a plane crash in Santos on 13 August 2014, after which the party chose Silva, his running mate, to replace him as the presidential candidate. Criticised for low economic growth and intervening in the economy. Proposed less intervention in the economy. Shortly before the election a former executive of the state-run oil company Petrobras accused a minister, three state governors, six senators and dozens of congressmen from President Dilma Rousseff’s Workers’ Party and several coalition allies of having accepted kickbacks from contracts. First Round Second Round Rousseff vs. Neves Rousseff vs. Silva Silva vs. Neves Sources: Chamber Senate 198 of the elected candidates were new to the House of Representatives, the highest proportion of freshmen in 16 years; the number of political parties in the parliament increased from 22 parties after the 2010 election to 28 at the beginning of the new term
Foreign relations of Brazil
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is responsible for managing the foreign relations of Brazil. Brazil is a significant political and economic power in Latin America and a key player on the world stage. Brazil's foreign policy reflects its role as a regional power and a potential world power and is designed to help protect the country's national interests, national security, ideological goals, economic prosperity. Between World War II and 1990, both democratic and military governments sought to expand Brazil's influence in the world by pursuing a state-led industrial policy and an independent foreign policy. Brazilian foreign policy has aimed to strengthen ties with other South American countries, engage in multilateral diplomacy through the United Nations and the Organization of American States, act at times as a countervailing force to U. S. political and economic influence in Latin America. Brazil's international relations are based on article 4 of the Federal Constitution, which establishes non-intervention, self-determination, international cooperation and the peaceful settlement of conflicts as the guiding principles of Brazil's relationship with other countries and multilateral organizations.
According to the Constitution, the President has ultimate authority over foreign policy, while Congress is tasked with reviewing and considering all diplomatic nominations and international treaties, as well as legislation relating to Brazilian foreign policy. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs known as Itamaraty, is the government department responsible for advising the President and conducting Brazil's foreign relations with other countries and international bodies. Itamaraty's scope includes political, economic, financial and consular relations, areas in which it performs the classical tasks of diplomacy: represent and negotiate. Foreign policy priorities are established by the President. Brazil's foreign policy is a by-product of the country's unique position as a regional power in Latin America, a leader among developing countries, an emerging world power. Brazilian foreign policy has been based on the principles of multilateralism, peaceful dispute settlement, non-intervention in the affairs of other countries.
Brazil engages in multilateral diplomacy through the Organization of American States and the United Nations, has increased ties with developing countries in Africa and Asia. Brazil is commanding a multinational U. N. stabilization force in Haiti, the MINUSTAH. Instead of pursuing unilateral prerogatives, Brazilian foreign policy has tended to emphasize regional integration, first through the Southern Cone Common Market and now the Union of South American Nations. Brazil is committed to cooperation with other Portuguese-speaking nations through joint-collaborations with the rest of the Portuguese-speaking world, in several domains which include military cooperation, financial aid, cultural exchange; this is done for instance. Lula da Silva visited to Africa included State visits to three Portuguese-speaking African nations. Brazil is strongly committed in the development and restoration of peace in East Timor, where it has a powerful influence. Brazil's political and military ventures are complemented by the country's trade policy.
In Brazil, the Ministry of Foreign Relations continues to dominate trade policy, causing the country's commercial interests to be subsumed by a larger foreign policy goal, enhancing Brazil's influence in Latin America and the world. For example, while concluding meaningful trade agreements with developed countries would be beneficial to Brazil's long-term economic self-interest, the Brazilian government has instead prioritized its leadership role within Mercosul and expanded trade ties with countries in Africa and the Middle East. Brazil's soft power diplomacy involves institutional strategies such as the formation of diplomatic coalitions to constrain the power of the established great powers. In recent years, it has given high priority in establishing political dialogue with other strategic actors such as India, Russia and South Africa through participation in international groupings such as BASIC, IBSA and BRICS; the BRICS states have been amongst the most powerful drivers of incremental change in world diplomacy and they benefit most from the connected global power shifts.
The Brazilian foreign policy under the Lula da Silva administration focused on the following directives: to contribute toward the search for greater equilibrium and attenuate unilateralism. These directives implied precise emphasis on: the search for political coordination with emerging and developing countries, namely India, South Africa and China; the foreign policy of the Rousseff administration sought to deepen Brazi