Brazil Politics - Intro


Despite having endured centuries of political unrest and discrimination, even slavery, Brazil now enjoys the political rule of a democratic government. This type of rulership means that those in power are elected by the residents of the country, who will vote in formal elections for one of a number of different parties. This gives each individual that is of a voting age an equal opportunity to affect his or her own country.

At present, voting is compulsory for all Brazilian residents that are literate and between the ages of 18 and 69 years. Anyone that is 16, 17 or over 69 years of age, or is illiterate can choose to vote, but is not under obligation to do so. The government of Brazil is divided into the 1) executive branch, 2) legislative branch and 3) judicial branch. There are 27 states and more than 5 500 individual municipalities, each of which is run by a mayor.

Executive Branch
The president is elected via ballot votes and he or she will hold executive power. The president’s term is four years.

Legislative Branch
The National Congress holds legislative power and is made up of:
- The Federal Senate (81 members, elected by a system of proportional representation, in position for a term of four years)
- Chamber of Deputies (513 members, elected by a direct ballot for a term of eight years. These ones have districts assigned by proportion to the population)
Each state in Brazil is assigned a governor and an elected legislature.

Judicial Branch
The Supreme Federal Tribunal exercises the ultimate judicial power.

Each of its judges is elected by the tribunal members and their term is life-long. The judicial system is responsible for contesting and supporting any decisions made by the government that will affect the rights of Brazil’s individual residents.

This gives the judicial system a huge amount of power within the legal system of Brazil.

Since Brazil became a democracy in the 1980’s, several coalition parties have been in power; namely, the Party of Brazilian Social Democracy (PSDB), the Liberal Front Party (PFL), and the Party of the Brazilian Democratic Movement (PMDB). There are other smaller parties that oppose this alliance, but these are very much in the minority.

The PFL represents Brazil’s conservative front, while the Communist Party of Brazil (PC) maintains extreme opposition to the present-day government.

The government of this South American country plays an integral role in controlling many sectors of the economy because of their perceived strategic value and strategy. Some of these sectors include power generation and telecommunications. Privatisation is one of the initiatives taken to do away with such monopolies.

More than 60% of the revenue of the government is from tax payments. These are not only personal taxes, but also government taxes on corporation income, financial operations, fuels, real estate, and so on.

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