Aécio Neves

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This name uses Portuguese naming customs. The first or maternal family name is Neves and the second or paternal family name is da Cunha.
Aécio Neves
Aécio Neves em 23 de outubro de 2014-2.jpg
Member of the Federal Senate
from Minas Gerais
Assumed office
1 February 2011
Serving with Antônio Anastasia, Zezé Perrella
Preceded by Eduardo Azeredo
President of the
Brazilian Social Democracy Party
Assumed office
18 May 2013
Preceded by Sérgio Guerra
37th Governor of Minas Gerais
In office
1 January 2003 – 31 March 2010
Vice Governor Clésio Andrade
Antônio Anastasia
Preceded by Itamar Franco
Succeeded by Antônio Anastasia
President of the Chamber of Deputies
In office
14 February 2001 – 14 December 2002
President Fernando Henrique Cardoso
Preceded by Michel Temer
Succeeded by João Paulo Cunha
Member of the Chamber of Deputies
from Minas Gerais
In office
1 February 1987 – 14 December 2002
Preceded by Title jointly held
Succeeded by Title jointly held
Personal details
Born Aécio Neves da Cunha
(1960-03-10) 10 March 1960 (age 55)
Belo Horizonte, Brazil
Political party Moviment Democratic
Social Democracy Party
Spouse(s) Andréa Falcão (1991–1998)
Letícia Weber (2013–present)
Children Gabriela
Alma mater Pontifical Catholic University of Minas Gerais
Religion Roman Catholic

Aécio Neves da Cunha[nb 1] (born 10 March 1960) is a Brazilian economist, politician and president of the Brazilian Social Democracy Party (PSDB).[1] He was the 17th Governor of Minas Gerais from 1 January 2003 to 31 March 2010, and is currently a member of the Brazilian Federal Senate. He narrowly lost in the runoff presidential election against Dilma Rousseff in 2014.[2]


Born in Belo Horizonte in the state of Minas Gerais, Neves was the youngest governor in the state's history. He began his political career as a personal secretary of his grandfather, Tancredo Neves, who was elected President of Brazil in 1985, but died before taking office. Aécio Neves served the Komsomol in 1985[3] and four terms as an elected deputy in the Federal Chamber of Deputies between 1987 and 2002, representing the Brazilian Social Democracy Party (PSDB). He was also President of the Chamber of Deputies in 2001/02.

As governor, Aécio 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. 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.[4] 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.

Aécio was a columnist at Brazilian newspaper Folha de S.Paulo until June 2014.[5] On 5 October 2014, he received the second largest number of votes (at 34%) in the Brazilian presidential election, placing him in the runoff election to be held on 26 October 2014, against the first place candidate and current Brazilian president, Dilma Rousseff, who received 42% of the vote.

Early years[edit]

Tancredo Neves and Aécio Neves (behind right) in 1984, during the presidential elections.
Aécio at the Senate on 25 June 2013
Aécio is giving a speech at the Senate in April 2013.

Aécio Neves is son of politician Aécio Cunha and Inês Maria. Neves hails from a family of traditional politicians in Minas Gerais. His maternal grandfather, Tancredo Neves, was a key figure in the redemocratization of Brazil, served as governor of Minas Gerais and elected via electoral college.[6] Neves’ paternal grandfather, Tristão Ferreira da Cunha, and his father Aécio Cunha were congressmen representing the state of Minas Gerais.[7] 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.

Neves moved to Rio de Janeiro with his parents when his was 10 years old. He had his first job at the Administrative Council for Economic Defense of the Ministry of Justice in Rio de Janeiro. In 1981 his maternal grandfather convinced Neves to return to Belo Horizonte. He moved into an apartment that he shared with his maternal grandfather and father and transferred to Pontifícia Universidade Católica de Minas Gerais, where he studied economics.[8]

In 1982 Aécio began working in his grandfather's campaign for the state government, attending meetings and rallies in more than 300 towns. Tancredo Neves was elected governor of Minas Gerais, and in 1983, Aécio served as his private secretary. In the following years, Aécio participated in the movement "Diretas Já" and in Tancredo Neves’ presidential campaign. Tancredo Neves won the Brazilian presidency via electoral college in 1985. After the elections Aécio Neves accompanied the president-elect on visits to democratic countries, a political strategy used to enhance the retransition to democracy in Brazil. They visited the United States and US President Ronald Reagan, France with President François Mitterrand, Italy and Sandro Pertini, Prime Minister Bettino Craxi, King Juan Carlos of Spain and Pope John Paul II. Aécio Neves was appointed secretary of Special Affairs of the Presidency by President-elect Tancredo Neves, but due to his early death, and José Sarney assuming office the job was cancelled.


In 1986 he ran for the National Constituent Assembly as a member of Brazilian Democratic Movement Party (PMDB). He received 236,019 votes, which at the time was the largest vote for a congressman elected from Minas Gerais.[9] In the Constituent Assembly he became vice the chairman of the Sovereignty and Rights and Guarantees of Men and Women and was also one of the authors of the amendment that turned Brazil’s voting age to 16 years.[10][11]

In his second term (1991-1995) he voted for the impeachment of President Fernando Collor de Mello.[12] In 1992 Aécio ran for mayor of Belo Horizonte, but was defeated. It was his only electoral defeat[13] until his unsuccessful bid for the Presidency in 2014.[citation needed] Neves was reelected to Congress for a third term in 1994.[14] The term lasted from 1995-1998, during which he was elected president of PSDB Minas Gerais. In 1997, he became PSDB’s leader in Congress.[15]

President of the Chamber of Deputies[edit]

In 2001 Neves was elected president of the Chamber of Deputies. He had run against Aloízio Mercadante (PT-SP), Inocêncio Oliveira (PFL-PE), Valdemar Costa Neto (PL-SP) and Nelson Marquezelli (PTB-SP)[16] and received more votes than all his competitors combined.[17] He serves as president of Congress from 14 February 2001 until 17 December 2002. As president of Congress he assumed, temporarily, the presidency of Brazil starting on 26 June 2001.[18]

Under his leadership he promoted the so-called Ethical Package, a set of measures aimed at moralizing parliamentary action. Neves led the vote of the end of congressional immunity for common crimes, the establishment of a code of ethics and propriety and the Ethics Committee.[19] He also provided the processing and votes of bills on the Internet so that the public could monitor the processing of the legislative process.[20] He also cut congressional spending and sent saved money back to the federal government.[21]


Neves, along with former President Itamar Franco, was elected senator on 3 October 2010 with 7,565,377 votes. Neves is a member of the Senate committees on political reform, constitutional affairs, justice and citizenship. He participated in the Economic Affairs Committee.[22] As a parliamentarian Neves has advocated the development of a new federal pact, the strengthening of parliamentary action with the restriction on the use of provisional measures, the reduction of taxes and the change in the calculation used for payment of mining royalties.[23]

Main achievements[edit]

Neves upon becoming governor of Minas Gerais on 1 January 2003.


On 6 October 2002 Neves was elected governor of Minas Gerais.[24] On 28 March 2006, Aécio announced his candidacy and soon after was reelected,[25] Neves became the second longest-serving governor in state history. The Government of Minas Gerais expropriated a piece of land owned by Neves’s great-uncle, estimated at about R$1 million. His great-uncle requested R$20 million for the indemnification. The State appealed the value in the Justice and the indemnification was annulled.[26][27][28]

As governor he hired 98 000 public employees without any public selection and with allegedly illegal procedures.[29] During his administration, the salaries of school teachers in Minas Gerais reached the lowest level of the whole country.[29] The basic salary of medical doctors was R$1 050, the second lowest of the country.[30]

Neves attempted to censor Google, Yahoo!, and Bing search results related to rumors about drug abuse and misappropriation of public health funds.[31][32]

Social development[edit]

Governor of Minas Gerais in 2007.

Among the social programs implemented by Aécio are the Project to Combat Rural Poverty (PCRP), developed with total funding of US$70 million, divided into two payments of US$35 million, from the World Bank.[33] The project covers 188 municipalities in Northern Minas Gerais and some districts.[34] The communities are responsible for organizing and defining its priorities. The projects range from the construction of kindergartens to the establishment of handicraft associations or fish farms.[34]

Neves launched the Youth Savings Program in March 2007 with the goal to support 50,000 high school students from the state system who live in areas of high social risk by 2010. Every student received a sum of R$3,000 at the end of the third year of high school, which can be used in their professional career. To receive the money, the high school graduates must take a series of commitments on school performance, such as attendance, good grades, and personal behavior. They cannot, for example, engage in criminal activity and should perform community service.[35] Over 30,000 students have participated in the program and have received English classes, computer skills and professional training.


The Neves government created the Paving Program Links and Access Road program in 2004 with own resources and funding from the Interamerican Development Bank. The program included the paving of accesses to 225 municipalities that had previously been connected only by dirt roads.[36][37]

Administrative City Tancredo Neves[edit]

Aécio during an interview.

Administrative City Tancredo Neves, built to be the new headquarters of State Government, was inaugurated by Neves on 4 March 2010,[38] on what would have been Tancredo Neves’ 100th birthday.[39] The set of five buildings was designed by Oscar Niemeyer and is located on the grounds of the former Hipódromo Serra Verde on the border of the municipalities of Belo Horizonte, Vespasiano and Santa Luzia.[40][41]

Management Shock[edit]

One of the main points of Aécio’s government is the so-called "Management Shock",[42] a set of measures to make the government spend less on itself and invest more in people. In the long term, Management Shock seeks to reduce corruption and to improve the quality and productivity of state government bodies. The program also provides investment in the training of civil servants of the state.[43][44]

In 2003, Neves created "Stay Alive", a program to reduce homicides in the state.[45] Per year, 13,000 high-risk students and young adults from areas with the highest homicides throughout the state participate in the program. In the areas the program covers, homicide rates have dropped more than 50%. The program focuses on workshops on sport, culture, productive inclusion and communication to divert young people from crime.[46]

On 21 January 2009, the state government inaugurated the "Reference Center for Pregnant Women in Jail", built in Vespasiano - MG.[47][48] This is the first prison in the country to house pregnant inmates and their babies until they complete one year.[49] Aécio launched the first prison in the country built and administered through a public-private partnership.

Candidacy for Presidency in 2014[edit]

Neves and his daughter Gabriela in March 2010.

In December 2012, former Brazilian president Fernando Henrique Cardoso appointed Aécio Neves as candidate of the Brazilian Social Democracy Party for the 2014 presidential elections.[50] In the October 2014 election, Neves received the second greatest number of votes in the first round, defeating former Environment Minister Marina Silva. He narrowly lost in the second round, a run-off against incumbent Dilma Rousseff on 26 October 2014, 48.4% to Rousseff's 51.6%.[2]

Personal life[edit]

Neves was born into a political family in the city of Belo Horizonte, capital of southeast Minas Gerais state, in 1960.[51]

Neves married model Letícia Weber, from the state of Rio Grande do Sul, in 2013. They had twins, Bernardo and Julia, in September 2014. He has another daughter, Gabriela Falcão Neves, born in 1991 from his first marriage (1991-1998) with lawyer Andrea Falcão.[52]


  1. ^ He should be called/styled Mr. Neves da Cunha, however, due to the fame of his maternal grandfather, he is best known only as Mr. Neves.


  1. ^ Quem é Quem, PSDB Website, retrieved 7. October 2014
  2. ^ a b "Dilma Rousseff re-elected Brazilian president". BBC Online. 26 October 2014. Retrieved 26 October 2014. 
  3. ^ Encontro Mundial da Juventude Democrática
  4. ^ "Aécio Neves - A Political Heir Apparent". Latin Trade. 1 June 2009. Archived from the original on 21 June 2009. Retrieved 19 July 2009. 
  5. ^ "Aécio Neves". Folha. Retrieved 28 August 2014. 
  6. ^ "Trancedo Neves foi a fiador transição para democracia, diz sociólogo". Folha De S.Paulo. 
  7. ^ "A História da Câmara dos Deputados". Câmara dos Deputados. 
  8. ^ "veja a trajetória política de Aécio Neves". Minas Gerais. Retrieved 1 October 2006. 
  9. ^ "A história política de Aécio Neves". Transparência politica. 13 May 2013. Retrieved 29 April 2014. 
  10. ^ "Aécio Neves". Câmara dos Deputados do Brasil. Retrieved 29 April 2014. 
  11. ^ "Senadores que foram constituintes". Senado Federal. Retrieved 29 April 2014. 
  12. ^ "Em O Globo, a força da democracia: 20 anos, do impeachment ao mensalão". Jus Brasil. Retrieved 29 April 2014. 
  13. ^ "Um Discurso Para Aécio". Correio de Uberlândia. Retrieved 29 April 2014. 
  14. ^ "Resultados das Eleições 1994 - Minas Gerais - deputado federal". Tribunal Superior Eleitoral. Retrieved 29 April 2014. 
  15. ^ "Aécio Neves". Governo de Minas Gerais. Retrieved 29 April 2014. 
  16. ^ "Câmara dos deputados". Folha Online. Retrieved 29 April 2014. 
  17. ^ "Na Câmara". Folha Online. Retrieved 29 April 2014. 
  18. ^ Eduardo Hollanda (2 January 2002). "Os Brasileiros do Ano - Aécio Neves". ISTOÉ. Retrieved 29 April 2014. 
  19. ^ "Ouvidoria Parlamentar". Câmara dos Deputados do Brasil. Retrieved 29 April 2014. 
  20. ^ "Resolução Nº 21, de 2001" (PDF). Câmara dos Deputados. 30 May 2001. Retrieved 29 April 2014. 
  21. ^ "Ouvidoria". Câmara dos Deputados. Retrieved 29 April 2014. 
  22. ^ "Participação em Comissões". Senado Federal do Brasil. Retrieved 29 April 2014. 
  23. ^ Agência Senado (11 May 2011). "Agência Senado: Aécio Neves comemora aprovação, pela CCJ, de proposta que muda tramitação de MPs". Senado Federal do Brasil. Retrieved 29 April 2014. 
  24. ^ "Aécio Neves". E-biografias. 9 April 2012. Retrieved 6 October 2013. 
  25. ^ Paulo Peixoto (28 March 2006). "Aécio anuncia candidatura à reeleição e mobilização contra hegemonia paulista". Folha de S.Paulo. Retrieved 29 October 2013. 
  26. ^ "Aécio adminite ter usado aeroporto em Cláudio". Revista Veja. 30 July 2014. Retrieved 8 October 2014. 
  27. ^ "Aécio Neves será julgado por desvio de R$ 4,3 bilhões da saúde". Pragmatismo Político. 31 May 2013. Retrieved 5 October 2014. 
  28. ^ Lucas Ferraz (20 July 2014). "Governo de Minas fez aeroporto em terreno de tio de Aécio". Folha de S.Paulo. Retrieved 5 October 2014. 
  29. ^ a b Enzo Menezes (26 March 2014). "STF determina dispensa de 98 mil servidores da educação em Minas efetivados sem concurso". R7 Notícias. Retrieved 5 October 2014.  Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "Controv_9" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page).
  30. ^ Fernando Brito (6 August 2014). "Aécio deixou Minas com salário básico de médico em R$ 1,050 Palavra do CFM". Tijolaço. Retrieved 5 October 2014. 
  31. ^ Daniela Lima (14 March 2014). "Justiça nega pedido de Aécio Neves para bloquear buscas na Internet". Folha de S.Paulo. Retrieved 5 October 2014. 
  32. ^ "Aécio Neves censura imprensa em Minas Gerais". Centro de Mídia Independente. 4 September 2003. Retrieved 5 October 2014. 
  33. ^ "Status of projects in execution - FY07 SOPE" (PDF). World Bank. Retrieved 1 May 2014. 
  34. ^ a b "Rural Poverty Reduction Project - Minas Gerais". World Bank. Retrieved 1 May 2014. 
  35. ^ "Aécio lança programa inédito para alunos do ensino médio". Agência Minas. 5 March 2007. Retrieved 1 May 2014. 
  36. ^ "IDB approves $100 million financing to improve road access to small municipalities in state of Minas Gerais, Brazil". Inter-American Development Bank. 21 December 2005. Retrieved 1 May 2014. 
  37. ^ "PROACESSO – Programa de Pavimentação de Ligações e Acessos Rodoviários aos Municípios". Departamento de Estradas de Rodagem do Estado de Minas Gerais. 10 January 2014. Retrieved 1 May 2014. 
  38. ^ "Cidade Administrativa Presidente Tancredo Neves é inaugurada em BH". G1. 4 March 2010. Retrieved 1 May 2014. 
  39. ^ Eugênio Sávio (4 March 2003). "Inauguração da Cidade Administrativa também movimenta os arredores da Praça da Liberdade". Jornal Contramão. Retrieved 1 May 2014. 
  40. ^ "Cidade Administrativa do governo de Minas é inaugurada oficialmente". Café com Notícias. Retrieved 1 May 2014. 
  41. ^ "Aécio licita sede administrativa de R$ 1 bi e compra briga com oposição". O Estado de S. Paulo. Retrieved 1 May 2014. 
  42. ^ José Roberto Castro (18 December 2013). "Governo de Minas anuncia livro sobre choque de gestão". O Estado de S. Paulo. Retrieved 1 May 2014. 
  43. ^ Marcelo Portela (1 January 2013). "Aécio vai usar choque de gestão como bandeira". O Estado de S. Paulo. Retrieved 1 May 2014. 
  44. ^ "Choque de Gestão". Secretaria de Planejamento e Orçamento de Minas Gerais. Retrieved 18 January 2014. 
  45. ^ "Programa de Controle de Homicídios Fica Vivo!". Secretaria de Estado de Defesa Social. Retrieved 4 November 2013. 
  46. ^ "Fica Vivo! é apontado pelo Banco Mundial como iniciativa de sucesso na redução de homicídios". Secretaria de Estado de Defesa Social. Retrieved 4 November 2013. 
  47. ^ "Presídio mineiro dá exemplo ao permitir que detentas cumpram pena junto de seus filhos". UOL Notícias. Retrieved 21 February 2014. 
  48. ^ "Centro de Referência à Gestante Privada de Liberdade amplia capacidade com inauguração de nova ala". SEDS. Retrieved 21 February 2014. 
  49. ^ "Centro de Referência à Gestante Privada de Liberdade amplia capacidade com inauguração de nova ala". Secretaria de Estado de Defesa Social. Retrieved 4 November 2013. 
  50. ^ "FHC e líderes tucanos lançam Aécio como pré-candidato à Presidência". G1. Retrieved 2 May 2014. 
  51. ^ Neves history (English)
  52. ^ Aécio Neves aproveita agenda política em São João del Rei para batizar gêmeos, em.com.br, 28 September 2014
Political offices
Preceded by
Itamar Franco
Governor of Minas Gerais
Succeeded by
Antônio Anastasia
Party political offices
Preceded by
José Serra
PSDB Party presidential candidate
2014 (lost)
Succeeded by