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 (Congresso nacional) es bicameral. La Cámara de Diputados (Cámara dos Deputados) esta formada con 513 miembros directamente elegidos por 4 años. El Senado Federal está formado con 81 miembros directamente elegidos, que son nombrados por 8 años, pero donde un tercio y dos tercios van renovándose alternativamente cada 4 años ( primero 1/3, y después los 2/3 restantes).

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