Democratic Labour Party (Brazil)

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Democratic Labour Party
Partido Democrático Trabalhista
President Carlos Lupi
Founded June 17, 1979 (1979-06-17)
Headquarters Rua Sete de Setembro, 141, 4º andar , Centro, Rio de Janeiro
Membership 1,250,777[1]
Ideology Social democracy[2]
Left-wing nationalism
Political position Centre-left[2]
International affiliation Socialist International,
Foro de São Paulo
Colours Red, White, Blue
TSE Identification Number 12
Seats in the Chamber of Deputies
19 / 513
Seats in the Senate
3 / 81

The Democratic Labour Party (Portuguese: Partido Democrático Trabalhista, PDT) is a populist and social democratic political party of Brazil.

It was founded in 1979 by left-wing leader Leonel Brizola as an attempt to reorganize the Brazilian leftist forces during the end of the Brazilian military dictatorship. Many of its members, including Brizola, had been active in the Brazilian Labour Party prior to the 1964 coup. Brizola originally wanted to reclaim the PTB name for his party, but the government awarded it to a more moderate grouping led by Ivete Vargas.

The PDT joined the Socialist International in 1986. It was the major left-wing party in Brazil until the rise of the Workers' Party.

The party is organized in state and municipal directories and also in cooperational social movements, such as the Black Movement, the Labour Woman Association, the Labour Syndicate Union, the Socialist Youth and the Green Labour Movement. Its national directory is composed of over 250 members, while its national executive is composed of 21 members.

The cooperational social movements have their own statutes and nationwide organization.

The Socialist Youth, founded in 1981, was originally called Labour Youth. Its name had been changed twice: in 1984, to Socialist Labour Youth, and then in 1985 to Socialist Youth. The intention was to support the group that defended the participation of the party in the Socialist International as well as the change of the party's name to Socialist Party. The latter never happened.

The best result of the party in a presidential election was reached by historical leader Brizola, with 17% of the votes in the first round of the 1989 presidential elections. However, Brizola lost to rival Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva by a margin of 0.5%, stopping him from facing the right-wing candidate, Fernando Collor de Mello, in the runoff.

In the legislative elections in October 2002, the party won 21 out of the 513 seats of the Chamber of Deputies and 5 out of the 81 seats of the Senate. Its candidate also won the gubernatorial election in Amapá. Afterwards, it went into opposition to the federal government led by Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.

In the local elections of October 2004, the party elected 300 mayors, 3252 city councilors, earning 5.5 million votes.

After the political crisis involving the government of Lula, the PDT has received the affiliation of several left-wing leaders from the president's party, the Workers' Party (PT), that disagree with the government policies, including the former Minister of Education, Cristovam Buarque. Cristovam faced president Lula in the first round of the 2006 National Elections, reaching 4th place (with 2.538.834 or 2.64% of the votes). At the legislative elections of October 1, 2006, the party experienced slight gains, winning 24 seats in the Chamber of Deputies. The PDT held onto the governorship of Amapá, and won a surprising victory in the gubernatorial election in Maranhão, which however was overturned due to electoral irregularities in 2009. At the 2010 elections, the PDT made gains in Parliament, winning 28 representatives, and it will have 4 Senate seats. It did not win any governorships, however, and only made it to one gubernatorial runoff, in Alagoas.

The PDT was the first party of president Dilma Rousseff (now in the PT).

Although the PDT voted against the impeachment of Rousseff, six deputies voted in favor, resulting in the suspension of five deputies and the expulsion of the sixth, Giovani Cherini.[3]

Important party leaders[edit]


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  2. ^ a b c Mainwaring, Scott P. (1999), Rethinking Party Systems in the Third Wave of Democratization: The Case of Brazil, Stanford University Press, p. 91 
  3. ^

External links[edit]