National Congress of Brazil

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National Congress

Congresso Nacional
56th Legislature of the National Congress
Logo do Congresso Nacional.png
Type
Type
HousesFederal Senate
Chamber of Deputies
History
Founded6 May 1826 (1826-05-06)
New session started
1 February 2019 (2019-02-01)
Leadership
Davi Alcolumbre, DEM
since 2 February 2019
Rodrigo Maia, DEM
since 14 July 2016
Government Leader
Joice Hasselmann, PSL
since 26 February 2019
Minority Leader
Carlos Zarattini, PT
since 27 February 2019
Structure
Seats594 members:
81 Senators
513 Federal Deputies
Composition of the Federal Senate
Federal Senate political groups
Government (58)
  •      MDB (13)
  •      PSD (9)
  •      PSDB (8)
  •      PODE (8)
  •      DEM (6)
  •      PP (6)
  •      PSL (4)
  •      PR (2)
  •      PRB (1)
  •      PSC (1)

Opposition (22)

  •      PT (6)
  •      PDT (4)
  •      REDE (3)
  •      PSB (3)
  •      PPS (3)
  •      PROS (3)

Independent (1)

Composition of the Chamber of Deputies
Chamber of Deputies political groups
Government (349)

Opposition (143)

  •      PT (55)
  •      PSB (32)
  •      PDT (28)
  •      PSOL (10)
  •      PCdoB (8)
  •      PPS (8)
  •      PMN (1)
  •      REDE (1)

Independent (21)

Elections
Federal Senate voting system
Plurality voting, alternating every four years between single-member elections (FPTP) and dual-member elections (Block voting)
Chamber of Deputies voting system
Open list proportional representation
Last general election
7 October 2018
Meeting place
Brasilia Congresso Nacional 05 2007 221.jpg
National Congress building
Brasília, Federal District, Brazil
Website
Federal Senate
Chamber of Deputies
Coat of arms of Brazil.svg
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The National Congress of Brazil (Portuguese: Congresso Nacional do Brasil) is the legislative body of Brazil's federal government. Unlike the state Legislative Assemblies and Municipal Chambers, the Congress is bicameral, composed of the Federal Senate (the upper house) and the Chamber of Deputies (the lower house). The Congress meets annually in Brasília, from 2 February to 27 July and from 1 August to 22 December.

The Senate represents the 26 states and the Federal District. Each state and the Federal District has a representation of three Senators, who are elected by popular ballot for a term of eight years. Every four years, renewal of either one third or two-thirds of the Senate (and of the delegations of the States and the Federal District) takes place.

The Chamber of Deputies represents the people of each state, and its members are elected for a four-year term by a system of proportional representation. Seats are allotted proportionally according to each state's population, with each state eligible for a minimum of 8 seats (least populous) and a maximum of 70 seats (most populous). Unlike the Senate, the whole of the Chamber of Deputies is renewed every four years.

Until recently it was common for politicians to switch parties and the proportion of congressional seats held by each party would often change. However, a decision of the Supreme Federal Court has ruled that the seats belong to the parties and not to the politicians, and that one can only change parties and retain his seat in a very limited set of cases. Consequently, politicians who abandon the party for which they were elected now face the loss of their Congressional seat.[citation needed]

Each house of the Brazilian Congress elects its President and the other members of its directing board from among its members.

The President of the Senate is ex officio the President of the National Congress, and in that capacity summons and presides over joint sessions, as well as over the joint services of both Houses. The President of the Chamber is second in the presidential line of succession while the President of the Senate (and of Congress) is third.

Director Board[edit]

The current composition of the Board of the National Congress is as follows:

Office Name Party State
President Davi Alcolumbre DEM Amapá
1st Vice-President Marcos Pereira PRB São Paulo
2nd Vice-President Lasier Martins PODE Rio Grande do Sul
1st Secretary Soraya Santos PR Rio de Janeiro
2nd Secretary Eduardo Gomes MDB Tocantins
3rd Secretary Fábio Faria PSD Rio Grande do Norte
4th Secretary Luis Carlos Heinze PP Rio Grande do Sul

Houses[edit]

Federal Senate[edit]

The Federal Senate (Portuguese: Senado Federal) is the upper house of the National Congress. Created by the first Constitution of the Brazilian Empire in 1824, it was inspired in United Kingdom's House of Lords, but with the Proclamation of the Republic in 1889 it became closer to the United States Senate.

Currently, the Senate comprises 81 seats. Three Senators from each of the 26 states and three Senators from the Federal District are elected on a majority basis to serve eight-year terms. Elections are staggered so that two-thirds of the upper house is up for election at one time and the remaining one-third four years later. When one seat is up for election in each State, each voter casts one vote for the Senate; when two seats are up for election, each voter casts two votes, and the voter cannot give his two votes for the same candidate, but, in elections for the renewal of two-thirds of the Senate, each party can present two candidates for election. The candidate in each State and the Federal District (or the first two candidates, when two thirds of the seats are up for election) who achieve the greatest plurality of votes are elected.

Chamber of Deputies[edit]

The Chamber of Deputies (Câmara dos Deputados) is the lower house of the National Congress, it is composed of 513 federal deputies, who are elected by a proportional representation of votes to serve a four-year term. Seats are allotted proportionally according to each state's population, with each state eligible for a minimum of 8 seats (least populous) and a maximum of 70 seats (most populous).

In 2010, 22 out of the country's 35 political parties were able to elect at least one representative in the Chamber, while fifteen of them were able to elect at least one Senator.

See the Latest election section for election results table.

The building[edit]

In early 1900s, the Brazilian National Congress happened to be in separate buildings. The Senate was located near Railway Central Station, beside the Republica Square, at Moncorvo Filho Street, where there is today a Federal University of Rio de Janeiro students' center. The Federal Chamber of Deputies was located at Misericórdia Street, which would later be the location of the State of Rio de Janeiro's local Chamber of Deputies. From the 1930s to early 1960s, the Senate occupied the Monroe Palace, which was demolished in the 1970s to allow the construction of the subway Cinelândia Station. The Federal Chamber of Deputies moved to Brasília in the early 1960s as well but temporarily occupied a building near the Municipal Theater for a couple of years.

Since the 1960s, the National Congress has been located in Brasília. As with most of the city's government buildings, the National Congress building was designed by Oscar Niemeyer in the modern Brazilian style.

The semi-sphere on the left is the seat of the Senate, and the semi-sphere on the right is the seat of the Chamber of the Deputies. Between them are two vertical office towers. The Congress also occupies other surrounding office buildings, some of them interconnected by a tunnel.

The building is located in the middle of the Monumental Axis, the main street of Brasília. In front of it there is a large lawn where demonstrations take place. At the back of it, is the Praça dos Três Poderes (Three Powers Plaza), where lies the Palácio do Planalto and the Supreme Federal Court.

On December 6, 2007, the Institute of Historic and Artistic National Heritage (Portuguese: Instituto do Patrimônio Histórico e Artístico Nacional) decided to declare the building of the National Congress a historical heritage of the Brazilian people. The building has also been a UNESCO World Heritage Site, as part of Brasília's original urban buildings, since 1987.

Similar high-rises[edit]

At least two other high-rise buildings are similar to the National Congress building:

Gallery[edit]

National Congress building[edit]

Coordinates: 15°47′59″S 47°51′51″W / 15.79972°S 47.86417°W / -15.79972; -47.86417

Latest election[edit]

Party Chamber of Deputies Senate
Votes % Seats +/– Votes % Elected Total +/–
Social Liberal Party 11,457,878 11.7 52 +44 19,413,869 11.3 4 4 +4
Workers' Party 10,126,611 10.3 56 –13 24,785,670 14.5 4 6 –6
Brazilian Social Democracy Party 5,905,541 6.0 29 –25 20,310,558 11.9 4 8 –2
Social Democratic Party 5,749,008 5.8 34 –2 8,202,342 4.8 4 7 +4
Progressistas 5,480,067 5.6 37 –1 7,529,901 4.4 5 6 +1
Brazilian Democratic Movement 5,439,167 5.5 34 –32 12,800,290 7.5 7 12 –6
Brazilian Socialist Party 5,386,400 5.5 32 –2 8,234,195 4.8 2 2 –5
Republic Party 5,224,591 5.3 33 –1 3,130,082 1.8 1 2 –2
Brazilian Republican Party 4,992,016 5.1 30 +9 1,505,607 0.9 1 1
Democrats 4,581,162 4.7 29 +8 9,218,658 5.4 4 6 +2
Democratic Labour Party 4,545,846 4.6 28 +9 7,737,982 4.5 2 5 –3
Socialism and Liberty Party 2,783,669 2.8 10 +5 5,273,853 3.1 0 0 –1
New Party 2,748,079 2.8 8 New 3,467,746 2.0 0 0
Podemos 2,243,320 2.3 11 +7 5,494,125 3.2 1 5 +5
Republican Party of the Social Order 2,042,610 2.1 8 –3 1,370,513 0.8 1 1
Brazilian Labour Party 2,022,719 2.1 10 –15 1,899,838 1.1 2 3
Solidariedade 1,953,067 2.0 13 –2 4,001,903 2.3 1 1
Avante 1,844,048 1.9 7 +5 713,379 0.4 0 0
Social Christian Party 1,765,226 1.8 8 –5 4,126,068 2.4 1 1 +1
Green Party 1,592,173 1.6 4 –4 1,226,392 0.7 0 0 –1
Popular Socialist Party 1,590,084 1.6 8 –2 2,954,800 1.7 2 2 +2
Patriota 1,432,304 1.5 5 +3 60,589 0.0 0 0
Humanist Party of Solidarity 1,426,444 1.5 6 +1 4,228,973 2.5 2 2 +2
Communist Party of Brazil 1,329,575 1.4 9 –1 1,673,190 1.0 0 0 –1
Progressive Republican Party 851,368 0.9 4 +1 1,974,061 1.2 1 1 +1
Sustainability Network 816,784 0.8 1 New 7,166,003 4.2 5 5 New
Brazilian Labour Renewal Party 684,976 0.7 0 –1 886,267 0.5 0 0
Party of National Mobilization 634,129 0.6 3 329,973 0.2 0 0
Christian Labour Party 601,814 0.6 2 222,931 0.1 0 1 +1
Free Homeland Party 385,197 0.4 1 +1 504,209 0.3 0 0
Christian Democracy 369,386 0.4 1 –1 154,068 0.1 0 0
Party of Brazilian Women 228,302 0.2 0 51,027 0.0 0 0
Brazilian Communist Party 61,343 0.1 0 256,655 0.1 0 0
United Socialist Workers Party 41,304 0.0 0 413,914 0.2 0 0
Workers Cause Party 2,785 0.0 0 38,691 0.0 0 0
Invalid/blank votes 18,771,737 61,995,824
Total 117,111,476 100.0 513 0 117,111,478 100.0 54 81 0
Registered voters/turnout 146,750,529 79.8 146,750,529 79.8
Source: Election Resources

Legislatures[edit]

The Legislatures are counted from the first meeting of the Chamber of Deputies and of the Senate, on 6 May 1826, in the imperial era (the Chamber of Deputies met for preparatory sessions from 29 April 1826 onwards to elect its officers and conduct other preliminary business, but the Legislature was formally opened on 6 May). The Chamber of Deputies and the Senate were created by Brazil's first Constitution, the Constitution of the Empire of Brazil, adopted in 1824. The previous Constituent and Legislative Assembly of the Empire of Brazil, a unicameral National Assembly, that was convened in 1823 and that was dissolved by Emperor Pedro I before adopting a Constitution is not counted among the Legislatures. Thus, the numbering includes only the bicameral Legislatures that existed from 1826 to the present day, and includes only Legislatures elected after the adoption of the first Brazilian Constitution.

In the imperial era, the national legislature was named General Assembly. It was made up of the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate. Senators were elected for life and the Senate was a permanent institution, whereas the Chamber of Deputies, unless dissolved earlier, was elected every four years. When Brazil became a Republic and a Federal State the model of a bicameral Legislature was retained at the Federal level, but the Parliament was renamed National Congress. The National Congress is made up of the Chamber of Deputies and the Federal Senate. Both Houses have fixed terms and cannot be dissolved earlier. Under Brazil's present Constitution, adopted in 1988, Senators are elected to eight-year terms, and Deputies are elected every four years.

The numbering of the Legislatures is continuous, including the Legislatures of the imperial General Assembly and of the republican National Congress. The inauguration of a new composition of Chamber of Deputies for a four-year term of office marks the start of a new Legislature.

Legislature Period Legislature Period Legislature Period Legislature Period Legislature Period
1st Legislature 1826 - 1829 13th Legislature 1867 - 1868 25th Legislature 1900 - 1902 37th Legislature 1935 - 1937 49th Legislature 1991 - 1995
2nd Legislature 1830 - 1833 14th Legislature 1869 - 1872 26th Legislature 1903 - 1905 38th Legislature 1946 - 1950 50th Legislature 1995 - 1999
3rd Legislature 1834 - 1837 15th Legislature 1872 - 1875 27th Legislature 1906 - 1908 39th Legislature 1951 - 1954 51st Legislature 1999 - 2003
4th Legislature 1838 - 1841 16th Legislature 1876 - 1877 28th Legislature 1909 - 1911 40th Legislature 1955 - 1958 52nd Legislature 2003 - 2007
5th Legislature 1842 - 1844 17th Legislature 1878 - 1881 29th Legislature 1912 - 1914 41st Legislature 1959 - 1962 53rd Legislature 2007 - 2011
6th Legislature 1845 - 1847 18th Legislature 1882 - 1884 30th Legislature 1915 - 1917 42nd Legislature 1963 - 1967 54th Legislature 2011 - 2015
7th Legislature 1848 - 1848 19th Legislature 1885 - 1885 31st Legislature 1918 - 1920 43rd Legislature 1967 - 1970 55th Legislature 2015 - 2019
8th Legislature 1849 - 1852 20th Legislature 1886 - 1889 32nd Legislature 1921 - 1923 44th Legislature 1971 - 1975 56th Legislature 2019 - 2023
9th Legislature 1853 - 1856 21st Legislature 1890 - 1891 33rd Legislature 1924 - 1926 45th Legislature 1975 - 1979
10th Legislature 1857 - 1860 22nd Legislature 1891 - 1893 34th Legislature 1927 - 1929 46th Legislature 1979 - 1983
11th Legislature 1861 - 1863 23rd Legislature 1894 - 1896 35th Legislature 1930 - 1930 47th Legislature 1983 - 1987
12th Legislature 1864 - 1866 24th Legislature 1897 - 1899 36th Legislature 1933 - 1935 48th Legislature 1987 - 1991

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]