|This article may be expanded with text translated from the corresponding article in the Portuguese Wikipedia. (August 2013)|
|Aécio Neves da Cunha|
|Governor Aécio Neves in 2007|
|Federal Senator from Minas Gerais|
February 1, 2011
Alongside Clésio Andrade and Zezé Perrela
|17th Governor of the State of Minas Gerais|
1 January 2003 – 31 March 2010
|Preceded by||Itamar Franco|
|Succeeded by||Antônio Anastasia|
|President of the Chamber of Deputies|
February 14, 2001 – December 14, 2002
|President||Fernando Henrique Cardoso|
|Preceded by||Michel Temer|
|Succeeded by||João Paulo Cunha do Nascimento|
|Federal Deputy from Minas Gerais|
February 1, 1987 – December 14, 2002
10 March 1960 |
Aécio Neves da Cunha (born 10 March 1960) is a Brazilian economist and politician; he was the Governor of Minas Gerais from 2003 to 2010 and is currently a member of the Brazilian Federal Senate. Born in Belo Horizonte, he is the youngest governor in the state's history. He began his political career working with his grandfather, Tancredo Neves, who was elected President of Brazil in 1985 (but who died before taking office). Aecio Neves served four terms as an elected Deputy in the Brazilian Federal Chamber of Deputies between 1987 and 2002, representing the Brazilian Social Democratic Party (PSDB). He was the President of the Chamber of Deputies in 2001/02.
As governor, Aecio Neves introduced the "Management Shock": a set of sweeping reforms designed to bring the state budget under control by reducing government expenditure and promoting investment. The policy has been widely perceived as a success nationally and internationally and Aecio Neves has enjoyed high levels of popularity in office. Having been tipped as a potential candidate for the Brazilian Presidential elections in 2010, Neves announced his intention to stand aside from the race at the end of 2009. He ran for the Brazilian Federal Senate instead, and was elected a Senator representing the State of Minas Gerais. He took office as a Senator of the Republic on 1 February 2011.
- 1 Early years
- 2 Political career
- 2.1 Secretary to Tancredo Neves
- 2.2 Federal deputy (1987-2002)
- 2.2.1 First Federal Deputy Term (1987-1990) and membership in the Constituent Assembly (1987-1988)
- 2.2.2 Second Federal Deputy Term (1990-1994)
- 2.2.3 Third federal deputy term (1994-1998) and party leadership in the Chamber of Deputies
- 2.2.4 Fourth federal deputy term (1998-2002) and presidency of the Chamber of Deputies (2001-2002)
- 2.3 Governor of Minas Gerais (2003-2010)
- 2.4 Potential candidacy for Presidency in 2010
- 2.5 Support for the election of Antonio Anastasia as Governor of Minas Gerais
- 2.6 Senator
- 3 Family
- 4 References
Both Aecio Neves' father and mother come from established political families in Minas Gerais. His maternal grandfather, Tancredo Neves, came from a leading family in the town of São João del Rei in the south of the state.
His paternal grandfather, Tristão Ferreira da Cunha, a native of Teófilo Otoni, a northern city in Minas Gerais, was also a politician as well as a lawyer and a professor. He was Secretary of Agriculture, Industry and Commerce in the state government of Juscelino Kubitschek (1951–1955).
Aécio Cunha, son of Tristão and father of Aécio, was state deputy between 1955 and 1963 and federal representative between 1963 and 1987. Despite being adversaries, Tancredo Neves (Brazilian Democratic Movement) and his son-in-law Aécio Cunha (National Renewal Alliance Party) were friends and shared an apartment in Brasilia for 18 years.
Education and early career
Aécio Neves graduated in Economics from the Pontifical Catholic University of Minas Gerais. His first professional experience was as an officer of the Economic Defense Administrative Council (CADE, the acronym in Portuguese for "Conselho Administrativo de Defesa Econômica"), then a section of the Ministry of Justice in Rio de Janeiro. CADE, now an independent agency, is Brazil's competition regulator, that is, the body charged with safeguarding competition in the Brazilian market, approving mergers, enforcing antitrust legislation, etc.
Secretary to Tancredo Neves
In the following years, he participated in the campaign "Diretas Já" (‘Direct [Elections] Now’), for direct elections of the president and, later, in the campaign of his grandfather for the Presidency of Republic. In 1985, Tancredo Neves won the elections for President, obtaining 480 votes in the Electoral College. Following the election, Aécio Neves accompanied his grandfather in visits to Ronald Reagan (United States), François Mitterrand (France), Sandro Pertini and Bettino Craxi (Italy), to King Juan Carlos (Spain) and to Pope John Paul II (the Vatican).
Aécio Neves briefly held the position of Secretary of Special Subjects of the Presidency of the Republic, between 15 March 1985 and 21 April 1985. He was chosen for that office by his grandfather Tancredo Neves, the President-elect. However, Tancredo became gravely ill on the eve of his presidential inauguration, and could not attend it. José Sarney was inaugurated as Vice-President on inauguration day, and immediately became Acting President. All officers desingated by Tancredo to the Cabinet and to other senior executive positions were initailly appointed by Sarney, and accordingly Aécio Neves briefly held office as Secretary of Special Subjects of the Presidency of the Republic. Sarney initially simply formalized the appointments intended by Tancredo because it was hoped that the President-elect would recover and take office. However, Tancredo died on 21 April 1985, and Sarney succeeded to the Presidency. Aécio and all the others appointed for the Ministry resigned their positions, so that President Jose Sarney, could freely decide the makeup of his administration.
Federal deputy (1987-2002)
Aécio Neves was a federal deputy, representing the people of the state of Minas Gerais in the Chamber of Deputies, the lower house of Brazil's National Congress, for four terms.
The encouragement of the family, especially of his grandmother, Risoleta Neves, was essential to the start of Neves' political career. The launching of his first candidacy was announced exactly a year after the death of his grandfather. In his meetings, he attracted many young people that previously had not been interested in politics. As a candidate for Federal Deputy he won the highest number of votes ever recorded in the State, with 236,019 votes in the 1986 election. He took office as a Federal Deputy on 1 February 1987.
First Federal Deputy Term (1987-1990) and membership in the Constituent Assembly (1987-1988)
In his first term (1987–1990) he participated in the National Constituent Assembly (1987–1988) that drafted and approved the country's new Federal Constitution (promulgated on 5 October 1988) that replaced the constitutional legislation inherited from the now defunct military regime.
The National Constituent Assembly was composed of all the members of the National Congress (both senators and deputies), so that, although Congress and the Assembly were different bodies (Congress when in joint session was presided by the president of the Senate; the Assembly voted for its president and chose the President of the Chamber of deputies for the role; the Assembly had different rules of procedure, was an unicameral body, and there was no distinction between senators and deputies) the membership of the two institutions was the same. Therefore, in virtue of his election as a member of Congress, Neves also became, ex officio, a member of the Constituent Assembly charged with drafting a new Constitution for the country.
Within the National Constituent Assembly, he occupied the position of Vice-President of the Commission of Sovereignty and Rights and of the Guarantees of Man and Woman (the Commission that prepared the first draft of the Constitution's bill of rights). He also presented a proposal that led to the lowering of the voting age to 16.
Second Federal Deputy Term (1990-1994)
In his second federal deputy term, Aécio Neves participated in the campaign of Mário Covas (PSDB) for the Presidency and was the vice-leader of the Brazilian Social Democratic Party (PSDB) in the Chamber of Deputies.
Fernando Collor de Mello was elected president in 1990. Two years after the elections Collor faced a process of impeachment and Aécio Neves voted in favor of the charges of impeachment against the president. Collor's impeachment led to the assumption of the presidency by Itamar Franco, Collor's estranged vice-president.
During his second term, Aécio Neves stood in the elections for mayor of Belo Horizonte, but was not elected.
Third federal deputy term (1994-1998) and party leadership in the Chamber of Deputies
After being elected for a third term as a federal deputy, Aécio Neves was chosen by his peers for a position in the Federal Chamber of Deputies' directing board. In the directing board, he served as the house's third secretary. In the same year (1995), he was chosen to be the president of the PSDB in Minas Gerais.
He made his first major entry on the national stage when he won the contest for the leadership of the PSDB in the Chamber. He was chosen for that role by a vote of all federal deputies who were members of the party. PSDB was at the time the party of the President of the Republic, and the leading party in the coalition that supported Fernando Henrique Cardoso's administration.
Fourth federal deputy term (1998-2002) and presidency of the Chamber of Deputies (2001-2002)
In 1998, he resigned the presidency of the PSDB of Minas Gerais, and stood for federal deputy for the 4th consecutive time. He won the most votes of any PSDB candidate in the country (185,050) and was the Deputy with the largest number of votes.
In 2001, he was elected as the President (Speaker) of the Chamber of Deputies with more votes than the sum of all the other candidates. He developed an "ethics package” which ended a member of Parliament's immunity of persecution for common crimes. He served as President of the Chamber of Deputies for the 2001-2002 term.
During his service as presiding officer of the lower house of Congress, Neves was second in line in the order of succession to the Presidency of Brazil, placed immediately after the Vice-President of the Republic. He was also highly ranked in the Brazilian order of precedence, placed after the President of the Senate and before the President of the Supreme Court.
If re-elected for a fifth federal deputy term, Neves could have sought re-election as speaker for another two years, but, when his fourth federal deputy term was at an end, he chose instead to run for Governor of his home State of Minas Gerais.
Governor of Minas Gerais (2003-2010)
In 2002, Aécio Neves was elected in the first round as the Governor of the state of Minas Gerais with more than five million votes. He was re-elected in 2006 with 7,482,809 votes, 77,03% of the total. In 2005 and 2006, in research carried out by the MACROPLAN Institute, Brazilian journalists idenitfied Aécio Neves as the best governor of the country. He enjoyed a popular approval level of 77% in March 2009, according to research by the DATAFOLHA Institute (Folha de São Paulo newspaper). In 2010, Neves left the government to run for Senator in the Brazilian general election of 2010, with deputy governor Antônio Anastasia taking his place.
Management Shock policy
At the time of Aecio Neves' inauguration in 2003, the state government of Minas Gerais faced a growing debt of more than 200 million Brazilian reais per month. In order to do away with this situation, Neves introduced the "management shock": a set of measures intended to re-organise and modernise the state, to reduce and rationalise the costs of government, to improve the quality of services, and to re-establish conditions for external investment. As a symbolic act to consolidate commitment to the reorganisation of the accounts of Minas Gerais, Aécio Neves reduced his salary by 45%, and asked the same of the first level members of the government. His project generated an enormous reduction in the costs of the state.
The administrative regional ministries were reduced from 21 to 15, and 43 supervisory posts and 16 control positions were abolished. Also 3,000 positions under direct appointment from the governor were eliminated. In building his team of advisors, Aécio Neves focused on hiring competent, university-educated and technical professionals who could provide austere and rigid administration for a state that could not pay its accounts.
In November 2004, Aécio Neves announced a "zero deficit" in the state accounts. This made possible more effective public administration, with programmes directed towards all areas of the administration. Aécio Neves invited the architect Oscar Niemeyer to design a new administrative campus for the government, destined to concentrate and to modernize the management of public services.
With new financial stability, Minas Gerais was – for the first time in 14 years - able to raise loans in the international market. The first loan was used for the 'Combating Rural Poverty' Project (PCPR), intended to increase income and quality of life in 180 communities with lower Human Development Indices (IDH). The success and the efficiency of this program, from which 75,000 families benefited, qualified the state to receive more investments from the World Bank.
With the proven success of the Management Shock policy, in August 2008 the World Bank approved a loan of US$1 billion for the state, without requiring financial guarantees. In announcing the loan, John Briscoe, Director of the World Bank in Brazil said, "The broad political and social consensus around fiscal responsibility is a big step forward for Brazil. The next big challenge is to significantly improve the quality of the high levels of public spending. During the last five years, Minas Gerais has shown how this can be done. Many other governors are looking to adopt this model."
In 2008, Governor Aécio Neves was invited to present the results of his programme for Minas Gerais at a meeting of the World Bank in Washington, D.C.
The management of Aécio Neves in Minas Gerais has also been used as a model in other Brazilian states. The governments of Sao Paulo, Bahia, Rio de Janeiro, Rio Grande do Sul and Mato Grosso have adopted elements of the "Management Shock” approach.
In 2003, Minas Gerais was the first state in the country to promote the integration of the activities of the military police (responsible for maintaining public order)and the civil police (responsible for criminal investigations). Other actions included the hiring of nine thousand new policemen, the renovation of the fleet of vehicles, the creation of integrated police stations and the integration of the system of intelligence of the two police forces. These, combined with a public awareness programme, "Fica Vivo!" ("Stay Alive!"), designed to reduce levels of homicide, all contributed to a reduction of 60% in incidents in high risk areas of metropolitan Belo Horizonte.
Transport: Green Line
In 2005, the "Green line" project began: the most significant set of improvements to Belo Horizonte's road system in decades. The centrepiece of it has been the construction of a 35.4 km rapid transit system fom metropolitan Belo Horizonte to international airport Tancredo Neves. The airport, which was opened in 1983 is located 40 km outside the city near Confins(and is widely referred to as Confins), and for many years had been underused due to its inaccessibility from the centre. The Green Line - cominbed with an aggressive policy to force airlines to use Confins instead of the suburban Pampulha airport - has been a success in increasing the number of passengers using Confins. The Green Line also aims to improve traffic flows across large parts of the metropolitan and greater Belo Horizonte area.
Potential candidacy for Presidency in 2010
Aecio Neves had been widely indicated as the possible candidate of the PSDB for the 2010 presidential elections, but was ultimately forced by his Party to stand aside in favour of Jose Serra, the Governor of São Paulo state.
Media speculation regarding the possibility of Aécio Neves running for president had been around since the 2002 elections. Then President Fernando Henrique Cardoso, a member of PSDB, could not seek reelection to a third term in office due to constitutional term limits, and Neves, a member of the political elite of the second most populous state in the country, and then speaker of the Chamber of Deputies, was widely seen as one of the possible contenders for the PSDB nomination. However, the Party, that has strong roots in São Paulo State, chose José Serra, of São Paulo, a former Senator, Minister for Planning and Minister for Health in the Fernando Henrique Cardoso administration, as its candidate. Serra was defeated by leftist Luis Inácio Lula da Silva, while Neves ran for Governor of Minas Gerais and was elected. In the 2006 presidential elections, the extremely popular President Lula sought re-election, and once again there was speculation that Neves would decide to run, but he chose not to, and instead focused on his re-election as Governor of the State of Minas Gerais, while his party nominated former São Paulo Governor Geraldo Alckmin as its presidential candidate.
Having twice before given-up a candidacy for the presidency in favour of nominees from São Paulo, it was widely expected that Neves would either be selected as his Party's candidate for the 2010 presidential elections or would leave the Party, either forming a new one of joining a rival party. However, none of those predictions came true: the PSDB once again nominated José Serra as its candidate (Serra by then had added the positions of Governor of São Paulo State and of Mayor of the city of São Paulo to his curriculum; and it was argued that Serra, having previously run for president, had more recognition and support nationally), and Neves remained loyally as a member of his Party.
After the announcement that he would not seek the presidency in the 2010 elections, there was speculation that Neves would accept the position of Serra's running mate in PSDB's presidential ticket. That would have been a pretty strong ticket, given Neves' popularity in Minas Gerais, Brazil's second most populous state. However, Neves announced that he would not run as Serra's Vice-Presidential candidate and that he would bid instead for a Senate seat.
Serra lost the 2010 presidential election to PT's Dilma Rousseff. Rousseff was strongly backed by the extremely popular outgoing President, Luís Inácio Lula da Silva.
Support for the election of Antonio Anastasia as Governor of Minas Gerais
Meanwhile, Neves having resigned the office of Governor of Minas Gerais in the last year of his second term in order to be legally able to run for the Senate, his Deputy Governor, the until then little known Antônio Anastasia became Governor of Minas Gerais to finish the remaining nine months of Neves' term. With Neves' backing, the Anastasia then launched his candidacy for a term of his own as Governor of Minas Gerais. Anastasia ran on a platform of continuity with his predecessor's administration and was elected in the first round of voting, with more votes than the sum of his opponents. He took office on 1 January 2011 for a four-year term.
Anastasia's election with more than 66% of the votes is widely credited to Aécio Neves' strong support for his candidacy.
Neves ran for the Federal Senate in the 2010 general election, and was elected, having received 7,565,377 votes. In order to run for the Senate, he had to resign as Governor of Minas Gerais (when he resigned on 31 March 2010, Neves was serving his eighth year as Governor, the last year of his second term in office, and could not seek re-election for a third term, due to consecutive term limits imposed by the Constitution). Neves took office as Senator, representing his home State of Minas Gerais, on 1 February 2011 for an eight-year term corresponding to the 54th and 55th Legislatures (each Legislature of Congress corresponds to the four-year term of the members of the Lower House, the Chamber of Deputies; members of the Senate, the Upper House of the Brazilian National Congress, are elected for an eight-year term that covers the span of two Legislatures). Thus, except for the possibility of resignation, removal or death, Neves's first and current term as Senator will only expire on 31 January 2019.
As a Senator of the PSDB Party, Aécio Neves is a member of the Opposition to the current Government, led by President Dilma Rousseff. While the Government has the support of the majority of the Senate, Senator Aécio Neves is a member of the Minority bloc, a parliamentary group formed in the Senate by the Senators of the parties that are not part of the parliamentary coalition that supports the Government. As of February 2012[update], Neves is a member of the Federal Senate's Commission of Economic Affairs, as well as a member of the Commission on the Constitution, Justice and Citizenship. He is alternate Member of other Commissions as well.
President of the Brazilian Social Democracy Party
On 18 May 2013 Senator Aécio Neves was elected President of the Brazilian Social Democracy Party (PSDB), and took office immediately. He received a record share of votes: there were 535 delegates present at the Party's national convention, and 521 voted for Aécio Neves.
Senator Aécio Neves is widely expected to become his Party's candidate for President of the Republic in 2014, and his election as President of the Party is widely seen as an important pre-campaign move. PSDB is the leading Party among those in the Opposition to the Government of President Dilma Rousseff. President Rousseff is widely expected to seek re-election to a second term in office, running as the Worker's Party (PT) candidate, and the PSDB Presidential candidate is likely to be the top Opposition candidate challenging the President's re-election bid.
Aécio Neves is married. He was married for eight years to the lawyer Andréa Falcão, with whom he has one daughter, Gabriela, born in 1991. In October 2013 he married former model Letícia Weber.
- "Aécio Neves - A Political Heir Apparent". Latin Trade. 1 June 2009. Archived from the original on 21 June 2009. Retrieved 19 July 2009.
- Aécio Neves at Folha
- Datafolha: Aécio lidera ranking de governadores
- "Anastasia assume governo de Minas no lugar de Aécio". G1. 31 March 2010. Retrieved 10 May 2010.
- Shock Management
- "Minas Gerais and the World Bank sign loan of US$976 million to improve quality of public sector management" (in Portuguese). World Bank Website. 13 August 2008. Retrieved 19 July 2009.[dead link]
- Secretaria de Estado de Governo (23 December 2008). "Biografia do governador Aécio Neves" [Biography of Governor Aécio Neves] (in Portuguese). Minas Online Portal. Retrieved 2 August 2009.
- "LINHA VERDE - O maior conjunto de obras em Belo Horizonte" [The Green Line: The biggest set of works in Belo Horizonte] (in Portuguese). Sociedade Mineira de Engenheiros. 1 June 2009. Retrieved 1 August 2009.
- "Companhias aéreas querem voltar para Pampulha" [Airline Companies want to return to Pampulha] (in Portuguese). Direto da Pista blog. 5 August 2008. Retrieved 1 August 2009.
- "Aécio Neves - A Political Heir Apparent". Latin Trade. 1 June 2009. Archived from the original on 21 June 2009. Retrieved 1 August 2009.
- "Serra closer to Brazil candidacy as rival quits". Reuters. 17 December 2009.
- "Aécio Neves at the Debut of his only daughter" (in Portuguese). Caras Magazine. Undated. Archived from the original on 26 June 2009. Retrieved 21 July 2009.
|Governor of Minas Gerais