National Renewal Alliance

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National Renewal Alliance
Aliança Renovadora Nacional
President Ernesto Geisel (last)
Founded April 4, 1965 (1965-04-04)
Dissolved December 20, 1979 (1979-12-20)
Merger of Brazilian Labour Party, Social Democratic Party, National Democratic Union, Party of Popular Representation
Succeeded by Democratic Social Party
Headquarters Brasília, D.F., Brazil
Ideology National conservatism
Political position Right-wing to Far-Right
International affiliation None
Colours      Dark blue
Politics of Brazil
Political parties

The National Renewal Alliance or Aliança Renovadora Nacional (ARENA) was a conservative political party that existed in Brazil between 1966 and 1979. It was the official party of the military that ruled Brazil from 1964 to 1985.

Up to 1965, there were three main parties in Brazil: the left-wing populist Brazilian Labour Party (PTB), the liberal Social Democratic Party (PSD) and the conservative National Democratic Union (UDN). In 1964, the government of President João Goulart was overthrown by a military coup d'etat, but in contrast to other Latin American dictatorships, the Brazilian military-controlled government did not abolish Congress. Instead, in 1965, the government banned all existing political parties and created a two-party system. ARENA, the pro-government party, was formed by politicians from the bulk of the UDN and the right wing of the PSD, while the left wing of the PSD and most of the PTB formed the Brazilian Democratic Movement (MDB), the opposition.

ARENA was a docile instrument of the military to rubber-stamp its agenda. Most agree that, at first, the MDB did not have any chance to pass or block any legislation. During most of the early part of the military regime, Brazil was, for all intents and purposes, a one-party state. In the legislative elections of 1966 and 1970, ARENA won a vast majority of the seats, but in the election of 1974, MDB took many more seats than expected and almost gained a majority. The government reacted by passing legislation restricting the power of the opposition, and even succeeded in annulling the mandates of some Congressmen of the MDB.

In 1979, in a manoeuvre to divide the opposition, the government ended the bipartisan party system, and the ARENA was dissolved when the new political parties law became effective on 20 December 1979.[1] In January 1980 members of the defunct ARENA founded the Democratic Social Party (PDS) as a continuation of ARENA.