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 22 December, with a mid-term break taking place between 17 July and 1 August.
|57th Legislature of the National Congress|
|Founded||6 May 1826|
New session started
|1 February 2023|
Federal Senate political groups
Chamber of Deputies political groups
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 (D'Hondt method) with a 2% election threshold|
Last general election
|2 October 2022|
Next general election
|4 October 2026|
|Nereu Ramos Palace, Brasília, Federal District, Brazil|
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. Seats belong to the parties and not to the politicians; one can only change parties and retain his or her seat in a very limited set of cases. Politicians who abandon the party for which they were elected now face the loss of their congressional seat. 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.
Board of the National Congress Edit
The current composition of the Board of the National Congress is as follows:
|President||Rodrigo Pacheco||PSD||Minas Gerais|
|1st Vice-President||Marcos Pereira||Republicanos||São Paulo|
|2nd Vice-President||Rodrigo Cunha||UNIÃO||Alagoas|
|1st Secretary||Luciano Bivar||UNIÃO||Pernambuco|
|2nd Secretary||Weverton Rocha||PDT||Maranhão|
|3rd Secretary||Júlio Cesar||PSD||Piauí|
|4th Secretary||Styvenson Valentim||PODE||Rio Grande do Norte|
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 2018, 24 out of the country's 33 political parties were able to elect at least one representative in the Chamber, while sixteen of them were able to elect at least one senator.
- See the Latest election section for election results table.
In early 1900s, the Brazilian National Congress happened to be in separate buildings in Rio de Janeiro which was then the national capital. 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, a process that took years to complete.
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 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 6 December 2007, the Institute of Historic and Artistic National Heritage (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.
2023 storming Edit
National Congress building Edit
Noble Room of the Senate
Exterior view of the Chamber of Deputies
Exterior view of the Senate chamber
The National Congress building at night
Front facade and lawn, showing the twin towers.
The Congress as seen from the Monumental Axis
Legislative police officers outside the National Congress building.
Protesters during an anti-government demonstration in front of the Congress, 13 March 2016.
Latest election Edit
Chamber of Deputies Edit
|Party or alliance||Votes||%||Seats||+/–|
|Communist Party of Brazil||1,154,712||1.05||6||–4[e]|
|Social Democratic Party||8,293,956||7.57||42||+8|
|Brazilian Democratic Movement||7,870,810||7.18||42||+8|
|Brazilian Social Democracy Party||3,309,061||3.02||13||–16|
|Socialism and Liberty Party||3,856,031||3.52||12||+2|
|Brazilian Socialist Party||4,172,383||3.81||14||–18|
|Democratic Labour Party||3,828,289||3.49||17||–11|
|Social Christian Party||1,944,678||1.78||6||–2|
|Brazilian Labour Party||1,422,652||1.30||1||–9|
|Republican Party of the Social Order||1,042,698||0.95||4||–4|
|Brazilian Labour Renewal Party||288,027||0.26||0||0|
|Party of National Mobilization||256,578||0.23||0||–3|
|Brazilian Communist Party||85,511||0.08||0||0|
|Brazilian Woman's Party||83,055||0.08||0||0|
|United Socialist Workers' Party||27,995||0.03||0||0|
|Workers' Cause Party||7,308||0.01||0||0|
|Source: Superior Electoral Court|
Federal Senate Edit
|Party or alliance||Votes||%||Seats|
|Brazilian Socialist Party||13,615,846||13.67||1||1||–1|
|Communist Party of Brazil||299,013||0.30||0||0||0|
|Social Democratic Party||11,312,512||11.36||2||10||+3|
|Social Christian Party||4,285,485||4.30||1||1||0|
|Brazilian Democratic Movement||3,882,458||3.90||1||10||–2|
|Brazilian Labour Party||2,046,003||2.05||0||0||–3|
|Democratic Labour Party||1,586,922||1.59||0||2||–2|
|Brazilian Social Democracy Party||1,384,871||1.39||0||4||–5|
|Brazilian Labour Renewal Party||758,938||0.76||0||0||0|
|Socialism and Liberty Party||675,244||0.68||0||0||0|
|Republican Party of the Social Order||213,247||0.21||0||1||0|
|United Socialist Workers' Party||132,680||0.13||0||0||0|
|Brazilian Communist Party||64,569||0.06||0||0||0|
|Brazilian Woman's Party||61,350||0.06||0||0||0|
|Party of National Mobilization||27,812||0.03||0||0||0|
|Workers' Cause Party||5,572||0.01||0||0||0|
|Source: Superior Electoral Court|
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.
- Compared to the deputies of the Party of the Republic elected in 2018. The party was renamed Liberal Party in 2019.
- Compared to the combined deputies of the Communist Party of Brazil and of the Free Fatherland Party elected in 2018. The parties merged after that election.
- Compared to the combined deputies of the Social Liberal Party and of Democrats elected in 2018. The parties merged to form Brazil Union in 2022.
- Compared to the deputies of the Brazilian Republican Party elected in 2018. The party was renamed Republicans in 2019.
- Compared to the deputies of the Popular Socialist Party elected in 2018. The party was renamed Cidadania in 2019.
- Compared to the combined deputies of Podemos and of the Humanist Party of Solidarity elected in 2018. The parties merged after that election.
- Compared to the combined deputies of Patriota and of the Progressive Republican Party elected in 2018. The parties merged after that election.
- Compared to the deputies of the Christian Labour Party elected in 2018. The party was renamed Act in 2022.
- Compared to the senators of the Party of the Republic elected in 2018 or not up for election in 2018. The party was renamed Liberal Party in 2019.
- Compared to the combined senators of Democrats and of the Social Liberal Party elected in 2018 or not up for election in 2018. The parties merged to form Brazil Union in 2022.
- Compared to the senators of the Brazilian Republican Party elected in 2018 or not up for election in 2018. The party was renamed Republicans in 2019.
- Compared to the combined senators of Podemos and of the Humanist Party of Solidarity elected in 2018 or not up for election in 2018. The parties merged after that election.
- Compared to the senators of the Popular Socialist Party elected in 2018 or not up for election in 2018. The party was renamed Cidadania in 2019.
- Compared to the combined senators of Patriota and of the Progressive Republican Party elected in 2018 or not up for election in 2018. The parties merged after that election.
- Compared to the senators of the Christian Labour Party elected in 2018 or not up for election in 2018. The party was renamed Act in 2022.
- "Com dura cláusula de barreira, metade das siglas corre risco de acabar". O Tempo (in Brazilian Portuguese). 12 July 2021. Retrieved 9 November 2021.
- "Brazil – The legislature". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 9 January 2020.
- "The National Congress". Portal da Câmara dos Deputados (in Brazilian Portuguese). Retrieved 9 January 2020.
- Bruns, Axel; Enli, Gunn; Skogerbo, Eli; Larsson, Anders Olof; Christensen, Christian (22 December 2015). The Routledge Companion to Social Media and Politics. Routledge. ISBN 978-1-317-50656-0.
- Brazil - The legislature.
- Ameringer, Charles D. (1992). Political Parties of the Americas, 1980s to 1990s: Canada, Latin America, and the West Indies. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 105. ISBN 978-0-313-27418-3.
- Morgenstern, Scott; Nacif, Benito; Lange, Peter (4 March 2002). Legislative Politics in Latin America. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-79659-0.
- "Mesa do Congresso Nacional". Congresso Nacional (in Portuguese). Retrieved 25 January 2022.
- "Senado Federal – SF". Portal Brasileiro de Dados Abertos (in Portuguese). Retrieved 25 January 2022.
- "Como funciona a eleição dos senadores". Senado Notícias (in Portuguese). 13 September 2018. Retrieved 25 January 2022.
- Pereira, Anthony W. (24 September 2020). Modern Brazil: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford University Press. p. 80. ISBN 978-0-19-254013-3.
- Brawer, Moshe (12 February 1992). Atlas of South America. Springer. p. 112. ISBN 978-1-349-12579-1.
- Bonfitto, Peter Louis (6 December 2021). World Architecture and Society: From Stonehenge to One World Trade Center [2 volumes]. ABC-CLIO. p. 34. ISBN 978-1-4408-6585-5.
- Barnes, Ashley. "Modern Architecture in Brazil". wou.edu. Western Oregon University.
- Galván, Javier A. (4 August 2020). Modern Brazil. ABC-CLIO. p. 9. ISBN 978-1-4408-6032-4.
- "Brazil protests: Lula vows to punish 'neo-fascists' after Bolsonaro supporters storm congress". the Guardian. 9 January 2023. Retrieved 9 January 2023.
- Ameringer 1992, p. 105
See also Edit
- Chamber of Deputies (Brazil)
- Federal Senate (Brazil)
- List of legislatures by country
- Palácio do Planalto
- Politics of Brazil
- National Congress (in Portuguese)
- Chamber of Deputies of Brazil (in Portuguese)
- Chamber of Deputies' e-Democracy (in Portuguese)
- Senate of Brazil (in Portuguese)
- Photos 360° of National Congress (in Portuguese)