1994 Brazilian general election

General elections were held in Brazil on October 3, 1994, the second to take place under the provisions of the 1988 constitution and the second direct presidential election since 1960.

1994 Brazilian general election

3 October 1994
Presidential election
← 1989
1998 →
Candidate Fernando Henrique Cardoso Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva Enéas Carneiro
Alliance Union, Work and Progress Popular Brazil Front for Citizenship
Running mate Marco Maciel Aloizio Mercadante Roberto Gama
Popular vote 34,364,961 17,122,127 4,671,457
Percentage 54.28% 27.04% 7.38%

Election by states, shaded accounding to vote share

President before election

Itamar Franco

Elected President

Fernando Henrique Cardoso

Parliamentary election
← 1990
1998 →

513 seats in the Chamber of Deputies
257 seats needed for a majority
Party Leader % Seats +/–
MDB Orestes Quércia 20.32 107 −1
PSDB Pimenta da Veiga 13.90 62 +24
PFL Jorge Bornhausen 12.85 89 +6
PT Rui Falcão 12.82 49 +14
PPR Esperidião Amin 9.43 52 −12
PDT Leonel Brizola 7.23 34 −12
PP 6.94 36 +32
PTB 5.21 31 −7
PL Alvaro Valle 3.51 13 −3
PSB 2.18 15 +4
PCdoB 1.24 10 +5
PSD Paulo Maluf 0.91 3 +2
PMN 0.56 4 +3
PPS 0.56 2 New
PSC 0.47 3 −3
PRP Ovasco Roma 0.45 1 +1
PRN Daniel Tourinho 0.40 1 −39
PV 1 New
This lists parties that won seats. See the complete results below.

Elected in 1989, President Fernando Collor of the centre-right National Reconstruction Party (PRN) had resigned in the face of an impeachment trial, resulting in Vice President Itamar Franco succeeding him.[1] Facing a fiscal crisis Franco's government launched the Plano Real ("Real Plan") to stabilize the national economy. With Franco barred from running for a full term, the architect of the Real Plan, Minister of Finance Fernando Henrique Cardoso,[2][3] was chosen by the PSDB to serve as their presidential candidate in Franco's absence. For the position of Vice President, Cardoso selected former presidential Chief of Staff Marco Maciel of the Liberal Front Party (PFL).[4]

Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, a former labor leader and federal deputy for São Paulo who had narrowly lost the 1989 presidential election, resigned as president of the Workers' Party (PT) to mount a second presidential candidacy.[5] Lula intended to make José Paulo Bisol of the Brazilian Socialist Party (PSB) his running mate as he had in 1989.[6] Bisol was replaced by Lula ally and fellow PT member Aloizio Mercadante on the ticket.[7][8] In the spring of 1994, Lula appeared an overwhelming favorite over Cardoso, leading with 40% to Cardoso's 12% in an April poll, and by a 41% to 17% margin as of May.[9] The Real Plan proved popular among Lula's own voters, with 70% of Lula supporters indicating their support for the Franco Administration's signature policy, and Lula was damaged by his opposition to the program.[9][10]

On election day, Cardoso received 54 percent of the vote, negating the need for a second round. He defeated Lula by over 27 points, still a record margin for a presidential election held under democratic conditions. Cardoso notably won every state in the northeast, a region which would later emerge as the PT's political base.[11] The relative success of far-right candidate Enéas Carneiro, a cardiologist who had never won office before and ran as a member of the Party of the Reconstruction of the National Order (PRONA), was also noted; Carneiro received over 7% of the vote, placing him ahead of many established politicians.[12] Carneiro's vote share was the highest received by a far-right presidential candidate until Jair Bolsonaro's victory in 2018.



In 1989, Brazil held its first direct presidential election since 1960 following the end of the military dictatorship in Brazil. Fernando Collor, a young, charismatic leader who had previous served as Governor of Alagoas, won a hotly contested election versus Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva after positioning himself as a political outsider.[13][14] Just over two years into his presidency, Collor was faced with allegations of corruption by his brother Pedro Collor, and chose to resign in late 1992 rather than face certain conviction and removal in an impeachment trial.[15][16]

Following his resignation, Vice President Itamar Franco succeeded him in the office.[1] Once in office, Franco switched from the National Reconstruction Party (PRN) to the Brazilian Democratic Movement Party (PMDB).[17] Facing a hyperinflation crisis and popular discontent, Franco's government pushed a fiscal policy known as the Plano Real (Real Plan) to stabilize the economy.[18] Minister of Finance Fernando Henrique Cardoso, an experienced politician who had previously served as Senator from São Paulo and as Franco's Minister of Foreign Affairs, served as the architect of the plan.[19]

Franco was barred from running for a full term in 1994. In Brazil, whenever a vice president serves part of a president's term, even when the president travels abroad, it counts as a full term. At the time, the Constitution did not allow a president to run for immediate reelection. In the absence of Franco, Cardoso would be chosen by the PSDB (a party born from inside the PMDB) as their nominee for President of Brazil in the 1994 election.

Lula's running mate controversy

José Paulo Bisol, Senator for Rio Grande do Sul (PSB) and original running mate of Lula in the 1994 election.

As he had in 1989, Lula intended for Senator José Paulo Bisol of Rio Grande do Sul, a member of the Brazilian Socialist Party (PSB), to serve as his vice presidential running mate. A former judge, Bisol had a strong reputation as an opponent of corruption,[20] playing a key role in the investigation that ultimately led to President Fernando Collor de Mello's resignation. Additionally, his membership of a party that played a crucial role in the centre-left coalition made his selection attractive to Lula.[21] Bisol's image as a "Mr. Clean" was harmed during campaign season by revelations of wrongdoing as a judge in 1981.[22]

The saga proved damaging to Lula's campaign, and as a result the leadership of the PT looked for a replacement for Bisol on the ticket. Arguing that Bisol should be replaced on the ticket by a fellow member of the PSB, PSB president Miguel Arraes pushed for the selection of Célio de Castro, then serving as Vice Mayor of Belo Horizonte, to replace Bisol as Lula's running mate.[23] Key power-players in the PT, such as party president Rui Falcão, successfully convinced Lula to replace Bisol with Aloizio Mercadante. A co-founder of the PT, Mercadante was then serving as a federal deputy for São Paulo.[24] Mercadante's background as a career economist during a hyperinflation crisis was seen as a plus for PT party leadership.[25]

Campaign of Enéas Carneiro


In the 1989 presidential election, the right-wing nationalist campaign of Enéas Carneiro received attention for Carneiro's exotic image. A short, bald man with a long beard and distinct "coke-bottle" glasses,[26] Carneiro's unusual appearance and signature catchphrase Meu nome é Enéas ("My name is Enéas") gained the cardiologist a following.[27] Nonetheless, Carneiro, who ran as a member of the Party of the Reconstruction of the National Order (PRONA), came 12th in a field of 21 candidates.

In 1994, Carneiro mounted a second bid for the presidency. The entrance of federal deputy Regina Gordilho of Rio de Janeiro, who had been elected as a member of the centre-left Democratic Labour Party, allowed his campaign to receive more guaranteed election time.[28] For the position of Vice President, Carneiro chose Rear Admiral[29] Roberto Gama e Silva to serve as his running mate.

Considered a nationalist and accused by opponents of being a member of the far-right,[30] Carneiro's unexpected third-place finish with over 7% of the national vote was considered a shocking result.[31] Carneiro, who had never been elected to office, received a larger share of the vote than longtime staple of the Brazilian Left Leonel Brizola, who had been a top candidate for the presidency four years prior.[32]


Party Candidate Most relevant political office or occupation Party Running mate Coalition Electoral number

Reform Progressive Party (PPR)

Esperidião Amin
Governor of Santa Catarina

Reform Progressive Party (PPR)

Gardênia Gonçalves 11

Democratic Labour Party (PDT)

Leonel Brizola
Governor of Rio de Janeiro

Democratic Labour Party (PDT)

Darcy Ribeiro
Strength of the People 12

Workers' Party (PT)

Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva
Member of the Chamber of Deputies from São Paulo

Workers' Party (PT)

Aloizio Mercadante
Popular Brazil Front for Citizenship 13

Brazilian Democratic Movement Party (PMDB)

Orestes Quércia
Governor of São Paulo

Brazilian Democratic Movement Party (PMDB)

Iris de Araújo
Development of Brazil 15

Social Christian Party (PSC)

Hernani Fortuna Admiral of the Brazilian Navy  

Social Christian Party (PSC)

Vítor Nosseis 20

National Reconstruction Party (PRN)

Carlos Antônio Gomes  

National Reconstruction Party (PRN)

Dilton Carlos Salomoni 36

Brazilian Social Democracy Party (PSDB)

Fernando Henrique Cardoso
Minister of Finance of Brazil

Liberal Front Party (PFL)

Marco Maciel
Union, Work and Progress 45
Party of the Reconstruction of the National Order (PRONA)  
Enéas Carneiro
PRONA National President
Party of the Reconstruction of the National Order (PRONA) Roberto Gama 56

Candidacies denied

Party Candidate Most relevant political office or occupation Party Running mate Coalition Electoral number

Liberal Party (PL)

Flávio Rocha
Member of the Chamber of Deputies from Rio Grande do Norte

Liberal Party (PL)

Jadihel Lohedo Júnior

Labour Party of Brazil (PTdoB)

Caetano Matanó Júnior.

Labour Party of Brazil (PTdoB)

Rafael Francisco 70




CandidateRunning matePartyVotes%
Fernando Henrique CardosoMarco Maciel (PFL)Brazilian Social Democracy Party34,364,96154.28
Luiz Inácio Lula da SilvaAloizio MercadanteWorkers' Party17,122,12727.04
Enéas CarneiroRoberto GamaParty of the Reconstruction of the National Order4,671,4577.38
Orestes QuérciaIris de AraújoBrazilian Democratic Movement Party2,772,1214.38
Leonel BrizolaDarcy RibeiroDemocratic Labour Party2,015,8363.18
Esperidião AminGardênia GonçalvesReform Progressive Party1,739,8942.75
Carlos Antônio GomesDilton Carlos SalomoniNational Reconstruction Party387,7380.61
Hernani FortunaVitor NósseisSocial Christian Party238,1970.38
Valid votes63,312,33181.22
Invalid/blank votes14,636,13318.78
Total votes77,948,464100.00
Registered voters/turnout94,782,80382.24
Source: TSE

Chamber of Deputies

Brazilian Democratic Movement Party9,287,04920.32107–1
Brazilian Social Democracy Party6,350,94113.9062+24
Liberal Front Party5,873,37012.8589+6
Workers' Party5,859,34712.8249+14
Reform Progressive Party4,307,8789.4352–12
Democratic Labour Party3,303,4347.2334–12
Progressive Party3,169,6266.9436+32
Brazilian Labour Party2,379,7735.2131–7
Liberal Party1,603,3303.5113–3
Brazilian Socialist Party995,2982.1815+4
Communist Party of Brazil567,1861.2410+5
Social Democratic Party414,9330.913+2
Party of the Reconstruction of the National Order308,0310.6700
Party of National Mobilization257,0180.564+3
Popular Socialist Party256,4850.562New
Social Christian Party213,7340.473–3
Progressive Republican Party207,3070.451+1
National Reconstruction Party184,7270.401–39
Green Party154,6660.341New
Brazilian Communist Party0–3
Brazilian Renewal Labour Party0New
United Socialist Workers' Party0New
Labour Party of Brazil390.0000
Valid votes45,694,17258.84
Invalid/blank votes31,966,62341.16
Total votes77,660,795100.00
Registered voters/turnout94,743,04381.97


Brazilian Social Democracy Party15,652,18216.349
Brazilian Democratic Movement Party14,870,46615.5214
Workers' Party13,350,29413.934
Liberal Front Party13,014,06613.5811
Democratic Labour Party7,299,9327.624
Liberal Party7,138,4057.451
Reform Progressive Party4,473,2914.672
Progressive Party4,208,0134.394
Brazilian Labour Party4,015,7014.193
Popular Socialist Party2,447,9312.551
Brazilian Socialist Party2,336,5492.441
National Reconstruction Party1,628,4911.700
Party of the Reconstruction of the National Order1,150,1571.200
Social Christian Party963,6151.010
Communist Party of Brazil751,4280.780
Social Democratic Party737,9390.770
United Socialist Workers' Party674,8560.700
Progressive Republican Party613,7610.640
Party of National Mobilization486,4300.510
Total votes77,949,111
Registered voters/turnout94,743,04382.27
Source: Nohlen




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