Brazilian Socialist Party

The Brazilian Socialist Party (Portuguese: Partido Socialista Brasileiro, PSB) is a political party in Brazil. It was founded in 1947, before being abolished by the military regime in 1965 and re-organised in 1985 with the re-democratisation of Brazil. It elected six Governors in 2010, becoming the second largest party in number of state governments, behind only PSDB. In addition to that, it won 34 seats in the Chamber of Deputies[5] and three seats in the Senate,[6] besides having been a member of the For Brazil to Keep on Changing coalition, which elected Dilma Rousseff as President of Brazil.

Brazilian Socialist Party
Partido Socialista Brasileiro
PresidentCarlos Siqueira
Founded6 August 1947; 74 years ago (1947-08-06)
Split fromNational Democratic Union
HeadquartersSCLN 304, bloco "A", Entrada 63, sobreloja
Brasília, Brazil
NewspaperFolha Socialista (1947-1964)
IdeologyDemocratic socialism
Social democracy[2]
Left-wing nationalism[2]
Political positionCentre-left to left-wing[3]
Regional affiliationForo de Sao Paulo (1991–2019)
International affiliationProgressive Alliance[4]
Colours  Red
TSE Identification Number40
Chamber of Deputies
32 / 513
Federal Senate
3 / 81
3 / 27
State Assemblies
71 / 1,059
327 / 5,566
City councillors
3,484 / 51,748

In 2014, the party went into opposition, advocating greater economic stability, low inflation, high economic growth, sustainable development, and social welfare programs.[7]


First PSB (1947–1965)Edit

The name Brazilian Socialist Party or variants had been used by several small socialist parties of brief existence prior to the foundation of PSB on 1947.

PSB has its origins at the end of Getúlio Vargas' Estado Novo regime, when the Democratic Left (Esquerda Democrática – ED) emerged as a faction of the National Democratic Union (União Democrática Nacional – UDN) in 1945.[8] Its goals were to combine the social changes of the period with broad civil and political liberties.[8] ED's ideology was based on a broad left-wing concept: it advocated that socialism had to be built gradually and legally, through the defence of democracy and a national identity.[8] In this sense, it differed greatly from other opposition parties, such as UDN, which advocated free market policies, and the Communist Party (PCB), which advocated the authoritarian socialism of the Soviet Union.[8]

As UDN became increasingly a right-leaning party, binding itself with the Brazilian Army[9] and the aspirations of urban middle classes,[10] ED's Socialist proposals were extremely at odds with the party, which led to a split and the subsequent foundation of PSB. On 6 August 1947, the Brazilian Socialist Party was founded, maintaining the same program and proposals it had as a faction of the UDN.[8] In its 1947 manifesto, the PSB sought to represent an alternative to the main left-wing parties of that period: Vargas' Brazilian Labour Party (PTB) and the Brazilian Communist Party (PCB). PSB opposed the centralism and authoritarianism of Vargas, as well as the rigid labour union structure supported by PTB. They opposed PCB's cult of personality and radical Marxism, which placed the PSB in the centre-left spectrum, between radical Marxism and social democracy.

PSB proposed to be a party of "everyone who relies on their own work".[8] It advocated immediate reforms, such as the nationalisation of economically strategic areas, the expansion of workers' rights, the ensuring of public health and education, and the development of democracy through means of popular participation.[8] Its structure brought a new experience which characterised PSB's democratic profile: the Base Centres (núcleos de base).[8] Through them, Socialist militants could get involved in the party project, discuss national issues and form the orientation and the target of partisan action.[8]

In the 1950 election, PSB's candidate, João Mangabeira won only 0.12% of the vote and the PSB elected only one deputy from Sergipe. At the same time, the PSB approached the PCB, banned in 1947 and operating underground. A number of communists ran for office under the PSB's endorsement.

In the 1955 election, the PSB endorsed the UDN candidate, Juarez Távora. In São Paulo, the PSB supported the electoral endeavors of Jânio Quadros: first in the São Paulo mayoral election in 1953 and Quadros' successful bid for Governor in 1954. However, the PSB's support for Quadros, a rather middle-class reformer, split the party, a split which ended with the expulsion of Quadros supporters from the party. In the 1960 election, won by Quadros, the PSB supported the candidacy of Henrique Teixeira Lott.

The PSB had limited legislative representation between 1947 and 1964, but in 1962 it elected one Senator, Aurélio Viana defeated the UDN's candidate, Juracy Magalhães in Guanabara State.

The party supported left-wing President João Goulart, who was overthrown by the military in 1964, which later abolished all parties, including the PSB, in 1965. Most Socialists joined the Brazilian Democratic Movement (MDB), the only opposition party recognised by the military regime.[8] Following the fall of the military in 1985, a number of former PSB members joined the Democratic Labour Party or the Workers' Party (PT).

Second PSB (1989–present)Edit

Following the return to a democracy in the country, a Brazilian Socialist Party was re-organised on the 1947 manifesto. At first, it achieved limited electoral success, though it elected some legislators and mayors. In the 1989 presidential election, it supported the PT candidate, Luís Inácio Lula da Silva.

In 1990, Pernambuco Governor Miguel Arraes joined the party, giving the PSB a certain electoral boost in subsequent elections. In the 1994 election, the party again endorsed Lula. In the same election, Arraes was re-elected Governor with 54% by the first round, and the PSB elected another governor, João Capiberibe, in Amapá, as well as a Senator in Pará. The party continued to grow with the adhesion of several officeholders in 1995 and 1996, but it did not endorse the left-wing candidacy of Ciro Gomes in the 1998 election, preferring to endorse Lula. The same year, Arraes was defeated in Pernambuco but the party gained the governorship of Alagoas.

In 2000, the Governor of Rio de Janeiro, Anthony Garotinho joined the PSB following a feud with Leonel Brizola, the leader of the Democratic Labour Party. The adhesion of Garotinho caused several members of the PSB to leave the party to join Lula's PT. The PSB supported Garotinho's candidacy in the 2002 election, winning 17.9% in the first round.

However, Garotinho's membership proved a source of controversy and division, notably with President Lula's government. The split was resolved when Garotinho left the party in 2003. The party unofficially supported Lula's re-election in 2006 and won 27 deputies in the 2006 election. After that election, the PSB had three Governors: Cid Gomes (Ceará), Eduardo Campos (Pernambuco) and Wilma de Faria (Rio Grande do Norte).

Ciro Gomes joined the PSB in 2003, and was expected to be the PSB's candidate in the 2010 election; however, the PSB decided not to run a presidential candidate.

The PSB did well overall in the 2010 elections; it picked up 7 seats in the Chamber of Deputies for a total of 34 seats, and regained representation in the Senate, winning 3 Senate seats. While it lost the governorship of Rio Grande do Norte, it easily retained the governorships of Ceará and Pernambuco and also overwhelmingly won the governorship of Espírito Santo. Following runoffs, it also won the governorships of Amapá, Paraíba, and Piauí, for a total of 6 state governorships.

Despite its socialist name and identity, the PSB was criticised by many on the Brazilian political scene, especially on the left, for its efforts to attract right-wing Brazilian politicians like senator Heraclito Fortes, and to support the candidacy of Eduardo Campos and, later, Marina Silva. These positions led many traditional socialists and social-democrats in Brazil to leave the party for more left-wing outfits such as the PSOL and PDT.

In 2014 general elections, the PSB did not support Rousseff and was part of the United for Brazil coalition, which supported Marina Silva as its presidential candidate. The party did well in the legislative elections, electing 34 deputies and 7 senators.

The party later voted in favour of the impeachment of Dilma Rousseff and formed a coalition government with Brazil's new president, Michel Temer.

In May 2017, the PSB withdrew its support from Temer and went into opposition.[11]

In the 2018 general election PSB did not support any candidate (although some members of the party supported Ciro Gomes of the Democratic Labour Party) in the first round; it later endorsed Fernando Haddad of the Workers' Party in the second round.[12] The party saw a decrease in support in the parliamentary election, winning 32 deputies and 2 senators. PSB later joined the opposition to Jair Bolsonaro.

On 30 August 2019 the Brazilian Socialist Party withdrew from the Foro de Sao Paulo, denouncing its support of Nicolas Maduro's presidency.[13]

International relationsEdit

Despite being a socialist party, the PSB has never been a member of the Socialist International (position held by the Democratic Labour Party). However, in 2013, it joined the newly formed Progressive Alliance.

In 1991 the party joined the Foro de Sao Paulo, an association of South American leftist parties which also included the majority of Brazilian left-wing formations (PCB, PCdoB, PT, PDT and, until 2004, PPS). However, in 2019 PSB withdrew from the Foro, denouncing its support for the authoritarian regime of Nicolas Maduro in Venezuela.[13]

Election resultsEdit

Presidential electionsEdit

Election Candidate Running mate Colligation First round Second round Result
Votes % Votes %
1950 João Mangabeira (PSB) None None 9,466 0.12% (#4) - - Lost  N
None Alípio Correia Neto (PSB) 10,800 0,15% (#5)
1955 Juarez Távora (UDN) None UDN; PDC; PL; PSB 2,610,462 30.27% (#2)
None Milton Campos (UDN) 3,384,739 41,70% (#2)
1960 Henrique Teixeira Lott (PSD) None PSD; PTB; PST; PSB; PRT 3,846,825 32.94% (#2)
None João Goulart (PTB) PTB; PSD; PST; PSB; PRT 4,547,010 36,10% (#1) Elected  Y
1964 None None - - -
1989 Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (PT) José Paulo Bisol (PSB) PT; PSB; PCdoB 11,622,673 16.1% (#2) 31,076,364 47.0% (#2) Lost  N
1994 Aloizio Mercadante (PT) PT; PSB; PCdoB; PPS; PV; PSTU 17,122,127 27.0% (#2) - -
1998 Leonel Brizola (PDT) PT; PDT; PSB; PCdoB; PCB 21,475,211 31.7% (#2)
2002 Anthony Garotinho (PSB) José Antônio Figueiredo (PSB) PSB; PGT; PTC 15,180,097 17.86% (#3)
2006 None None None - - -
2010 Dilma Rousseff (PT) Michel Temer (PMDB) PT; PMDB; PR; PSB; PDT; PCdoB; PSC; PRB; PTC; PTN 47,651,434 46.9% (#1) 55,752,529 56.1% (#1) Elected  Y
2014 Marina Silva (PSB) Beto Albuquerque (PSB) PSB; PHS; PRP; PPS; PPL; PSL 22,176,619 21.32% (#3) - - Lost  N
2018 None None None - - -

Legislative electionsEdit

Election Chamber of Deputies Senate Role
of votes
of seats
+/– #
of seats
1986 1.0
1 / 487
  1 N/A   0 in opposition
1990 1.9
11 / 502
  10   0 in opposition
1994 2.2
15 / 513
  4   0 in opposition
1998 3.4
19 / 513
3 / 81
  2 in opposition
2002 5.3
22 / 513
4 / 81
  1 in opposition
2006 6.2
27 / 513
3 / 81
  1 in coalition
2010 7.1
34 / 513
3 / 81
  0 in coalition
2014 6.5
34 / 513
7 / 81
  4 in opposition
2018 5.5
32 / 513
2 / 81
  5 in opposition


  1. ^[permanent dead link]:::
  2. ^ a b "Direita ou esquerda? Análise de votações indica posição de partidos brasileiros no espectro ideológico". BBC News Brasil.
  3. ^ "Direita cresce e engole o centro no Congresso mais fragmentado da história". February 2019.
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2 March 2015. Retrieved 6 December 2014.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  5. ^ (in Portuguese) "Saiba a nova composição da Câmara". G1. 4 October 2010.
  6. ^ (in Portuguese) "Partidos aliados de Dilma elegem mais senadores que a oposição" Archived 7 October 2010 at the Wayback Machine. R7. 4 October 2010.
  7. ^ (in Portuguese) "Chapa Unidos pelo Brasil oficializa apoio a Eduardo Campos"
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h i j (in Portuguese) História do PSB. Brazilian Socialist Party official website. Archived 3 November 2010 at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ (in Portuguese) Gaio, André Moysés. "Affinities Between the National Democratic Union (UDN) and the Brazilian Army" Archived 6 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine. Diálogos. Maringá State University. Department of History.
  10. ^ (in Portuguese) "Dicionário Político – União Democrática Nacional (UDN)". Marxists Internet Archive. Reproduced from CPDOC/Fundação Getulio Vargas.
  11. ^ "PSB anuncia oposição ao governo Michel Temer e passa a defender renúncia". G1 (in Brazilian Portuguese). Retrieved 27 June 2018.
  12. ^ "PSB declara apoio a Fernando Haddad no segundo turno". (in Portuguese). Retrieved 22 October 2019.
  13. ^ a b Morais, Esmael (30 August 2019). "PSB aprova saída de Foro de São Paulo e critica Maduro". Blog do Esmael (in Brazilian Portuguese). Retrieved 22 October 2019.

External linksEdit

Preceded by Numbers of Brazilian Official Political Parties
40 – BSP (PSB)
Succeeded by