BRASIL
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 do Movimento Democrático Brasileiro; Partido dos Trabalhadores; Partido Progressista; Partido da Social-Democracia Brasileira; Partido da República; Partido Social Democrático; Partido Socialista Brasileiro; Democratas.
Head of government: Michel Temer, PMDB, president (since 2016).
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 PMDB 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, Temer. Numerous other politicians are under investigation, including Temer and many of Rousseff’s opponents; her removal owed more to political disagreement than an actual finding on charges.
FH: 2-2, free. Econ: 7.38 (41), flawed democracy.
Updated: 2017 March 23.
 

O.T. FORD