Brazil - Political and electoral system

Political and administrative structure

A federal republic. Politically and administratively, the country is comprised of a Union, states, a Federal District and municipalities, all of which are autonomous under the constitution. The Union is made up of federal territories; their creation, transformation into states or reincorporation into their states of origin is regulated by law. Each state is governed by its own constitution, and is headed by a governor. The country is sub-divided into the capital city, 26 states and 5,560 municipalities. Constitution of the Federal Republic of Brazil, 1988 http://www.acnur.org/biblioteca/pdf/0507.pdf

National parliament

El Congreso Nacional de Brasil es bicameral, compuesto por la cámara de Diputados y el Senado Federal. El número total de diputados, así como la representación por estado y por el Distrito Federal, se establecerá por ley complementaria, de forma proporcional a la población, haciendo los ajustes necesarios el año anterior a las elecciones, para que ninguna de las unidades de la Federación tenga menos de ocho (8) o más de setenta (70) diputados. En el caso del Senado, cada estado y el Distrito Federal elegirán tres (3) miembros.

Municipal government

The executive branch of each municipality is headed by a prefect. The legislative branch is the municipal chamber.

Duration of terms

"Prefects, Vice-Prefects and Councilpersons shall be elected for a term of four years, by direct and simultaneous vote throughout the State." - Constitution of the Federal Republic of Brazil, 198. Chap.IV - Municipalities (Art. 29., I and II).

Representation system

Absolute majority for mayors (prefeitos); proportional majority for councilpersons (vereadores).

Type of list

Open

Electoral constituency

Uninominal for mayors (prefeitos); plurinominal for councilpersons (vereadores).

Quota and parity laws

See Laws.

Legal instruments applicable to municipalities

Constitution of the Federal Republic of Brazil, 198. Chap. IV - Municipalities.

Electoral Justice

The Superior Electoral Court is the organ responsible for ensuring that effective means exist to allow for a full expression of the popular will, through the exercise of the right to vote and hold elective office