|Tancredo de Almeida Neves|
|President of Brazil
(Did not take office)
March 15, 1985 – April 21, 1985
|Vice President||José Sarney|
|Preceded by||João Figueiredo|
|Succeeded by||José Sarney|
|Prime Minister of Brazil|
September 8, 1961 – July 21, 1962
|Preceded by||The Viscount of Ouro Preto (1889)|
|Succeeded by||Francisco de Paula Brochado da Rocha|
|Governor of Minas Gerais|
|Preceded by||Francelino Pereira dos Santos|
|Succeeded by||Hélio Carvalho Garcia|
March 4, 1910|
São João del Rey, Minas Gerais, Brazil
|Died||April 21, 1985
São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil
Early life and career
Tancredo Neves was born in São João del-Rei, Minas Gerais and was of mostly Portuguese, but also Austrian descent and graduated in law. The Neves family name comes from an Azorean great-great-grandfather. Tancredo Neves was a descendant of Amador Bueno, a noted paulista from the colonial Brazilian era.
He began his political career as a member of the legislative chamber of his hometown in 1934, and was elected in 1947 to the Minas Gerais state legislature. Three years later he became a representative of his state in the Brazilian Chamber of Deputies. In 1953 he was appointed by President Getúlio Dornelles Vargas to be the Minister of Justice. Neves served in that post until Vargas committed suicide in 1954. In 1960, Neves ran unsuccessfully for governor of Minas Gerais.
During the political crisis that began with the resignation of President Jânio da Silva Quadros on 25 August 1961, a parliamentary system was installed in Brazil by a constitutional amendment passed on 2 September 1961. Neves was appointed as Prime Minister by President João Goulart and served from September 1961 until July 1962. The parliamentary system was abolished by plebiscite in January 1963.
Goulart was overthrown by a coup in 1964 and Neves, who had up to that point been considered a moderate politician, became an opponent to the military regime in the Brazilian Democratic Movement (MDB). During the process of return to Democracy known as abertura (opening), he was elected Senator in 1978 and governor of Minas Gerais in 1982.
Presidential elections and death
In 1984, he was one of the leaders of the Diretas Já movement that demanded direct elections for President of Brazil. Neves was the opposition candidate to succeed President João Baptista de Oliveira Figueiredo.
The campaign for direct elections failed. There was no popular public vote, as the proposed Constitutional Amendment that would have abolished the Electoral College and instituted direct elections did not obtain the necessary two-thirds majority in both Houses of the Brazilian Congress, still dominated by the supporters of the military establishment. Neves was nevertheless elected President by a majority of the Electoral College on January 15, 1985, where he received 480 votes.
However, on 14 March, on the last day of his predecessor's term and on the eve of his own inauguration, Neves became severely ill, requiring immediate surgery. He thus was not able to attend his own inauguration on 15 March. As the Constitution requires the President-elect and Vice-President-elect to take their oaths of office before the assembled National Congress, the inauguration was accordingly held only for Vice-President-elect José Sarney, who immediately became Acting President. At that time, there was still hope that Neves would recover and appear before the Congress to take the oath of office.
Neves suffered from abdominal complications and developed generalised infections, and after seven operations, he died on 21 April—more than a month after his term of office began, without ever having taken the oath of office. He was accordingly succeeded as President by Sarney.
Neves' death caused an outpouring of national grief and his ordeal was intensively covered by the Brazilian media and followed with anxiety by the whole nation, who had seen in him the way out of the authoritarian regime into what he had called a "New Republic" (Nova República). Tancredo Neves is still counted among the official presidents of Brazil as a matter of homage and honour despite never technically becoming President due to not having taken the oath of office. An Act of Congress was thus necessary to make this homage official. Accordingly, on the first anniversary of his death, a statute was signed into law declaring that he should be counted among the Presidents of Brazil.
- The Tancredo Neves International Airport in Belo Horizonte is named after him.
- The Tancredo Neves Bridge connects the Brazilian city of Foz do Iguaçu with the Argentine Puerto Iguazú, crossing over the Iguassu River.
- Presidente Tancredo Neves is a municipality in the state of Bahia.
- Avenida Tancredo Neves is an important avenue in Salvador, Bahia.
|President of Brazil (elect)
Died before assuming office – 1985
Francelino Pereira dos Santos
|Governor of Minas Gerais
Hélio Carvalho Garcia
- KOIFMAN, Fábio. Presidentes do Brasil: De Deodoro a FHC.
- Os gabinetes parlamentaristas
- John Higley, Richard Gunther, ed. (1992). Elite and Democratic Consolidation in Latin America and Southern Europe. Cambridge University Press. p. 263. ISBN 978-0-521-42422-6.
- John Higley, Richard Gunther, ed. (1992). Elite and Democratic Consolidation in Latin America and Southern Europe. Cambridge University Press. p. 264. ISBN 978-0-521-42422-6.
- "Tancredo Neves está morto; corpo é velado no Planalto; Sarney reafirma mudanças" (in Portuguese). Folha de São Paulo. 1985-04-22. Retrieved 2007-03-05.
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