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Brazil political system

Brazil has a diversity of regional political cultures. Politics in the states of the Northeast (Nordeste) and North (Norte) are much more dependent on political benevolence from Brasília than are the states of the South (Sul) and Southeast (Sudeste).

Brazil is a federal republic with 26 states and a federal district. The 1988 constitution grants broad powers to the federal government, made up of executive, legislative, and judicial branches. The president holds office for 4 years, with the right to re-election for an additional 4-year term, and appoints his own cabinet.

Fifteen political parties are represented in Congress. Since it is common for politicians to switch parties, the proportion of congressional seats held by particular parties changes regularly. The major political parties are:

  • Workers Party (PT-center-left)
  • Liberal Front Party (PFL-right)
  • Brazilian Democratic Movement Party (PMDB-center)
  • Brazilian Social Democratic Party (PSDB-center-left)
  • Progressive Party (PP-right)
  • Brazilian Labor Party (PTB-center-right)
  • Liberal Party (PL-center-right)
  • Brazilian Socialist Party (PSB-left)
  • Popular Socialist Party (PPS-left)
  • Democratic Labor Party (PDT-left)
  • Communist Party of Brazil (PCdoB-left)

President Lula was re-elected October 29, 2006 in a second round victory with over 60% of the vote, over Geraldo Alckmin of the PSDB. Lula's PT party failed to win a majority in either the lower or upper houses in concurrent legislative elections and will be obliged to form a coalition with the centrist PMDB party -- which won the most seats in the lower house and may end up with the largest number in the Senate -- and a collection of minor parties. However, party loyalty is weak in Brazil, and it is common for politicians to switch parties, changing the balance of power in Congress. The PT won five of twenty-seven governorships, but the opposition PSDB remains in control of the critical states of Sao Paulo and Minas Gerais. The PMDB, as in the legislative elections, won the most governorships of any one party, controlling seven states. Because of the mandatory revenue allocation to states and municipalities provided for in the 1988 constitution, Brazilian governors and mayors have exercised considerable power since 1989.

Since 2003, President Lula's administration has steadied exchange rates and aided social stability and today Brazil ranks as the thirteenth largest economy on the planet. And Brazil property can be purchased on a freehold basis and property rights and title are secure while taxes remain low. Brazil's economy, aided by a benign international environment, grew approximately 2.9% in 2005 and 3.7% in 2006. (Note: In early 2007, the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE) revised its methodology for computing gross domestic product and announced revised figures for 2000-2006.) Sustained growth, coupled with booming exports, healthy external accounts, moderate inflation, decreasing unemployment, and reductions in the debt-to-GDP ratio. President Lula and his economic team have implemented prudent fiscal and monetary policies and have pursued necessary microeconomic reforms.

Current evidence shows that investment property in Brazil is now a highly beneficial market in which to invest. While the tourist infrastructure and economic climate is improving rapidly in Brazil, investors are urged to catch this market at the very beginning while prices remain incredibly low and high returns on investment are inevitable.

Author: by Karen Smith

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