The government of Brazil works under a federal constitutional republic influenced by representative democracy. In other words, the citizens of Brazil elect individuals to represent their interests in government. At a federal level, the government is divided into 3 branches: executive, legislative, and judicial. This country is led by the president, who acts as both head of state and head of government. Legislative duties are carried out by the National Congress, which is comprised of two bodies: the Chamber of Deputies (513 seats) and the Federal Senate (81 seats). The judicial branch is independent of the legislative and executive branches.

Voting in Brazil is mandatory for all citizens between the ages of 18 and 70. Presidential elections take place under a two-round system, which means that citizens may vote more than once. After the first round of voting, the top two candidates move forward to the second round. The president and vice president run on the same ballot and are elected to serve a four-year term. Elections for the National Congress are slightly different. Representatives of the Chamber of Deputies are elected on the basis of proportional representation to serve a four-year term. Senators, on the other hand, are elected to serve eight-year terms on an alternating schedule. Elections for senators take place once every 4 years.

The National Congress meets in the National Congress Palace in Brasilia, the capital. Brasilia was intentionally designed and developed to serve as the capital of Brazil. All of the buildings located here were officially opened on April 21, 1960. The National Congress Palace was designed by Oscar Niemeyer and is made up of two towers, which hold the meeting place of both the Chamber of Deputies and the Federal Senate. The President of Brazil resides in the Alvorada Palace, which is also located in Brasilia and designed by Niemeyer. It has a modern architectural style; construction of the presidential palace was finished in 1958.

Although Brazil has a number of political parties, there are really three parties who gather the majority of seats. These parties are the Brazilian Democratic Movement, the Democrats, and the Brazilian Social Democracy Party.

This page was last modified on May 1st, 2018

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