Officially: República Federativa do Brasil.
English: Brazil.
Seat of government: Brasília.
Status: Democratic.
Structure: The president is elected directly. The legislature (Congresso Nacional) comprises the Câmara dos Deputados, elected by party-list proportional representation in the provinces (estados), and the Senado Federal, elected in the estados with equal representation.
Main parties: Partido dos Trabalhadores; Partido da Social-Democracia Brasileira; Partido Social Liberal; Movimento Democrático Brasileiro; Democratas; Partido Socialista Brasileiro; Partido Social Democrático; Partido Democrático Trabalhista; Partido Progressista (Progressistas); Partido da República; Partido Republicano Brasileiro.
Head of government: Jair Bolsonaro, PSL, president (since 2019).
Assessment: Given the large number of parties in the Congresso, government depends on cooperation between each president and a complicated legislative coalition. Luíz Inácio Lula da Silva (2003-11) finished second in presidential elections in 1989, 1994, and 1998, but won a 2002 runoff with a large margin. His party had a plurality in the parliament, but depended for a majority on the Partido do Movimento Democrático Brasileiro (now the MDB) and the Partido Popular Socialista, both of whom eventually withdrew their support. In 2006 elections, the runoff for the presidency was between Lula and Geraldo Alckmin, which Lula again won. A 2010 election to succeed Lula was won by his chosen successor, Dilma Rousseff (2011-6), also of the PT, in a runoff with José Serra. Rousseff was reelected in 2014, in a runoff with Aécio Neves of the PSDB; the PT edged out the PMDB for a plurality in the Câmara dos Deputados. Mass protests against corruption and spending on athletic competitions led Rousseff to the brink of impeachment; she appointed Lula as chief of staff to shield him from prosecution, and her legislative coalition began to unravel. She was impeached and then removed from office in 2016, succeeded by her vice president, Michel Temer (2016-8) of the PMDB. Numerous other politicians were under investigation, including Temer and many of Rousseff’s opponents; her removal owed more to political disagreement than an actual finding on charges. The 2018 election to replace Temer went to a runoff between the far-right Bolsonaro and Fernando Haddad of the PT, won by Bolsonaro, while his PSL surged in the Congresso.
FH: 2-2, free. Econ: 7.38 (41), flawed democracy.
Updated: 2019 January 11.