National Congress of Brazil
Overview
 
The National Congress of Brazil is the legislative body of Brazil
Brazil
Brazil , officially the Federative Republic of Brazil , is the largest country in South America. It is the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population with over 192 million people...

's federal government.

Unlike regional legislative bodies – Legislative Assemblies
Legislative Assembly
Legislative Assembly is the name given in some countries to either a legislature, or to one of its branch.The name is used by a number of member-states of the Commonwealth of Nations, as well as a number of Latin American countries....

 and City Council
City council
A city council or town council is the legislative body that governs a city, town, municipality or local government area.-Australia & NZ:Because of the differences in legislation between the States, the exact definition of a City Council varies...

s -, the Congress is bicameral
Bicameralism
In the government, bicameralism is the practice of having two legislative or parliamentary chambers. Thus, a bicameral parliament or bicameral legislature is a legislature which consists of two chambers or houses....

, composed of the Federal Senate
Senate of Brazil
The Federal Senate of Brazil is the upper house of the National Congress of Brazil. Created by the first Constitution of the Brazilian Empire in 1824, it was inspired by the United Kingdom's House of Lords, but with the Proclamation of the Republic in 1889 it became closer to the United States...

 (the upper house
Upper house
An upper house, often called a senate, is one of two chambers of a bicameral legislature, the other chamber being the lower house; a legislature composed of only one house is described as unicameral.- Possible specific characteristics :...

) and the Chamber of Deputies
Chamber of Deputies of Brazil
The Chamber of Deputies of Brazil is a federal legislative body and the lower house of the National Congress of Brazil. As of 2006, the chamber comprises 513 deputies, who are elected by proportional representation to serve four-year terms...

 (the lower house
Lower house
A lower house is one of two chambers of a bicameral legislature, the other chamber being the upper house.Despite its official position "below" the upper house, in many legislatures worldwide the lower house has come to wield more power...

).

The Senate represents the 26 states and the Federal District
Brazilian Federal District
The Federal District is set apart for Brasília, the capital of Brazil. Located in a region called Planalto Central, or Central Plateau, the Federal District is divided in 29 administrative regions. Brasilia - place where the three branches of the Federal Government are located - is the main...

. Each State and the Federal District has a representation of three Senators, who are elected by popular ballot for a term of eight years.
Encyclopedia
The National Congress of Brazil is the legislative body of Brazil
Brazil
Brazil , officially the Federative Republic of Brazil , is the largest country in South America. It is the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population with over 192 million people...

's federal government.

Unlike regional legislative bodies – Legislative Assemblies
Legislative Assembly
Legislative Assembly is the name given in some countries to either a legislature, or to one of its branch.The name is used by a number of member-states of the Commonwealth of Nations, as well as a number of Latin American countries....

 and City Council
City council
A city council or town council is the legislative body that governs a city, town, municipality or local government area.-Australia & NZ:Because of the differences in legislation between the States, the exact definition of a City Council varies...

s -, the Congress is bicameral
Bicameralism
In the government, bicameralism is the practice of having two legislative or parliamentary chambers. Thus, a bicameral parliament or bicameral legislature is a legislature which consists of two chambers or houses....

, composed of the Federal Senate
Senate of Brazil
The Federal Senate of Brazil is the upper house of the National Congress of Brazil. Created by the first Constitution of the Brazilian Empire in 1824, it was inspired by the United Kingdom's House of Lords, but with the Proclamation of the Republic in 1889 it became closer to the United States...

 (the upper house
Upper house
An upper house, often called a senate, is one of two chambers of a bicameral legislature, the other chamber being the lower house; a legislature composed of only one house is described as unicameral.- Possible specific characteristics :...

) and the Chamber of Deputies
Chamber of Deputies of Brazil
The Chamber of Deputies of Brazil is a federal legislative body and the lower house of the National Congress of Brazil. As of 2006, the chamber comprises 513 deputies, who are elected by proportional representation to serve four-year terms...

 (the lower house
Lower house
A lower house is one of two chambers of a bicameral legislature, the other chamber being the upper house.Despite its official position "below" the upper house, in many legislatures worldwide the lower house has come to wield more power...

).

The Senate represents the 26 states and the Federal District
Brazilian Federal District
The Federal District is set apart for Brasília, the capital of Brazil. Located in a region called Planalto Central, or Central Plateau, the Federal District is divided in 29 administrative regions. Brasilia - place where the three branches of the Federal Government are located - is the main...

. 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. 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.

The Chamber of Deputies represents the people of each state, and its members are elected for a four year term by a proportional representation
Proportional representation
Proportional representation is a concept in voting systems used to elect an assembly or council. PR means that the number of seats won by a party or group of candidates is proportionate to the number of votes received. For example, under a PR voting system if 30% of voters support a particular...

. Unlike the Senate, the whole of the Chamber of Deputies is renewed every four years.

The Congress meets annually in its Brasília
Brasília
Brasília is the capital city of Brazil. The name is commonly spelled Brasilia in English. The city and its District are located in the Central-West region of the country, along a plateau known as Planalto Central. It has a population of about 2,557,000 as of the 2008 IBGE estimate, making it the...

 seat from 2 February to 27 July and from 1 August to 22 December.

Until recently, it was common for politicians to switch parties, and the proportion of congressional seats held by each party would often change. However, a decision of the Supremo Tribunal Federal has ruled that the seats belong to the parties and not to the politicians, and that one can only change parties and retain his seat in a very limited set of cases, so that now politicians who abandon the party for which they were elected 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 (currently Senator José Sarney
José Sarney
José Sarney de Araújo Costa is a Brazilian lawyer, writer and politician. He served as president of Brazil from 15 March 1985 to 15 March 1990....

) 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.

However, the President of the Chamber (currently Marco Maia
Marco Maia
Marco Aurélio Spall Maia, better known as Marco Maia , is a Brazilian politician, and the current President of the Chamber of Deputies of Brazil. He is on a third consecutive term as Federal Deputy for the state of Rio Grande do Sul. A metalworker and union leader by trade, Maia joined the Workers'...

) is the third in the presidential line of succession, while the President of the Senate (and of Congress) ranks as fourth in line to the presidency of the Republic.

Federal Senate

The Federal Senate of Brazil (Portuguese: Senado Federal do Brasil) is the upper house of the National Congress of Brazil. 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.
The current president of the Brazilian Senate is José Sarney, from the Brazilian Democratic Movement Party of Amapá. He was elected in early 2009 for a two-year term.

Chamber of Deputies

The Chamber of Deputies 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 eight seats (least populous) and a maximum of 70 seats (most populous).

The building

In early 1900s, the Brazilian National Congress happened to be in separate buildings. The Senate, for instance, was located near Railway Central Station, beside the Republica's 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, where it would be built later 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 early 1960s as well, but temporarily occupied for a couple of years a building near the Municipal Theater.

Since the 1960s, the National Congress has been located in Brasília
Brasília
Brasília is the capital city of Brazil. The name is commonly spelled Brasilia in English. The city and its District are located in the Central-West region of the country, along a plateau known as Planalto Central. It has a population of about 2,557,000 as of the 2008 IBGE estimate, making it the...

. As with most of the city's government buildings, the National Congress building was designed by Oscar Niemeyer
Oscar Niemeyer
Oscar Ribeiro de Almeida Niemeyer Soares Filho is a Brazilian architect specializing in international modern architecture...

 in the modern Brazilian style.

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 Congress also occupies other surrounding office buildings, some of them interconnected by a tunnel.

The building is located in the middle of the Monumental Axis
Monumental Axis
The Monumental Axis is a central avenue in Brasília's city design.The avenue begins on the National Congress of Brazil building and is considered part of the DF-002 road. Its first section is known as "Ministries Esplanade" , as it is surrounded by ministries buildings...

, 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
Praça dos Três Poderes
Praça dos Três Poderes is a plaza in Brasília, the capital of Brazil. The name is derived from the presence of the three governmental powers around the plaza: the Executive, represented by the Palácio do Planalto ; the Legislative represented by the Congresso Nacional ; and the Judiciary,...

, where lies the Palácio do Planalto
Palácio do Planalto
The Palácio do Planalto is the official workplace of the President of Brazil. It is located at the Praça dos Três Poderes in Brasília, Brazil. As the seat of government, the term Planalto is often used as a metonym for the executive branch of the government.The main working office of the President...

 and the Supremo Tribunal Federal.

On December 6, 2007, the Institute of Historic and Artistic National Heritage decided to declare the building of the National Congress a historical heritage of the Brazilian people. The building is also among the UNESCO World Heritage Site
World Heritage Site
A UNESCO World Heritage Site is a place that is listed by the UNESCO as of special cultural or physical significance...

s, as part of Brasília's original urban buildings, since 1987.

In 2010, 22 out of the country's 27 political parties were able to elect at least one representative in the Chamber, while fifteen of them were able to elect at least one Senator. In both houses the coalition that supported

Summary of the 3 October 2010 National Congress
National Congress of Brazil
The National Congress of Brazil is the legislative body of Brazil's federal government.Unlike regional legislative bodies – Legislative Assemblies and City Councils -, the Congress is bicameral, composed of the Federal Senate and the Chamber of Deputies .The Senate represents the 26 states and...

 election results
|-
!style="background-color:#E9E9E9" align=left valign=top rowspan=2 colspan=2|Parties
!style="background-color:#E9E9E9" align=center valign=top colspan=5|Chamber
Chamber of Deputies of Brazil
The Chamber of Deputies of Brazil is a federal legislative body and the lower house of the National Congress of Brazil. As of 2006, the chamber comprises 513 deputies, who are elected by proportional representation to serve four-year terms...


!style="background-color:#E9E9E9" valign=top align=center colspan=6|Senate
|-
!style="background-color:#E9E9E9" align=right valign=top|Votes
!style="background-color:#E9E9E9" align=right valign=top|% of votes
!style="background-color:#E9E9E9" align=right valign=top|Seats
!style="background-color:#E9E9E9" align=right valign=top|% of seats
!style="background-color:#E9E9E9" align=right valign=top|+/–
!style="background-color:#E9E9E9" align=right valign=top|Votes
!style="background-color:#E9E9E9" align=right valign=top|% of votes
!style="background-color:#E9E9E9" align=right valign=top|Elected seats
!style="background-color:#E9E9E9" align=right valign=top|Total seats
!style="background-color:#E9E9E9" align=right valign=top|% of seats
!style="background-color:#E9E9E9" align=right valign=top|+/–
|-
| bgcolor="#CC0000"| 
|align=left| Worker's Party
Workers' Party (Brazil)
The Workers' Party is a democratic socialist political party in Brazil. Launched in 1980, it is recognized as one of the largest and most important left-wing movements of Latin America. It governs at the federal level in a coalition government with several other parties since January 1, 2003...

 (Partido dos Trabalhadores, PT)
| 16,289,199
| 16.9
| 88
| 17.1
| +5
| 39,410,141
| 23.1
| 11
| 15
| 17.3
| +7
|-
| bgcolor="#008000"| 
|align=left| Brazilian Democratic Movement Party (Partido do Movimento Democrático Brasileiro, PMDB)
| 12,537,252
| 13.0
| 79
| 15.3
| −10
| 23,998,949
| 14.1
| 16
| 19
| 24.6
| +3
|-
| bgcolor="#0047AB"| 
|align=left| Republic Party
Republic Party
The Republic Party is a centrist Brazilian political party.It was founded on December 21, 2006 by the merge of the Liberal Party and the Party of the Reconstruction of the National Order .It is likely that in the future two other parties, the Social Christian Party The Republic Party (Partido da...

 (Partido da República, PR)
| 7,311,655
| 7.6
| 41
| 7.9
| +16
| 4,649,024
| 2.7
| 3
| 4
| 4.9
| —
|-
| bgcolor="#C04000"| 
|align=left| Brazilian Socialist Party
Brazilian Socialist Party
The Brazilian Socialist Party , is a political party in Brazil. It was founded in 1947, before being abolished by the military regime in 1965 and re-organized in 1985 with the re-democratization of Brazil. It elected six Governors in 2010, becoming the second largest party in number of state...

 (Partido Socialista Brasileiro, PSB)
| 6,851,053
| 7.1
| 34
| 6.6
| +7
| 6,129,463
| 3.6
| 3
| 3
| 3.7
| —
|-
| bgcolor="#E34234"| 
|align=left| Democratic Labour Party
Democratic Labour Party (Brazil)
The Democratic Labour Party is a populist, democratic socialist 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...

 (Partido Democrático Trabalhista, PDT)
| 4,854,602
| 5.0
| 28
| 5.4
| +4
| 2,431,940
| 1.4
| 2
| 4
| 4.9
| −2
|-
| bgcolor="#006633"| 
|align=left| Social Christian Party
Social Christian Party (Brazil)
The Social Christian Party is a Christian-democratic political party in Brazil.At the legislative elections, 6 October 2002, the party won 1 out of 513 seats in the Chamber of Deputies and no seats in the Senate. At the legislative elections of October 1, 2006, the party won 9 seats in the...

 (Partido Social Cristão, PSC)
| 3,072,546
| 3.2
| 17
| 3.3
| +8
| 1,247,157
| 0.7
| 1
| 1
| 1.2
| —
|-
| bgcolor="#8B0000"| 
|align=left| Communist Party of Brazil
Communist Party of Brazil
The Communist Party of Brazil is a political party in Brazil. It has national reach and deep penetration in the trade union and students movements. PCdoB dispute with the Brazilian Communist Party the title of "oldest political party in Brazil"...

 (Partido Comunista do Brasil, PCdoB)
| 2,748,290
| 2.8
| 15
| 2.9
| +2
| 12,561,716
| 7.4
| 1
| 2
| 2.4
| +1
|-
| bgcolor="#008000"| 
|align=left| Brazilian Republican Party
Brazilian Republican Party
The Brazilian Republican Party is a Brazilian political party. Its electoral number is 10 and it became a registered political party on August 25, 2005. The Igreja Universal do Reino de Deus uses the party to elect its bishops in Brazilian elections...

 (Partido Republicano Brasileiro, PRB)
| 1,633,500
| 1.7
| 8
| 1.5
| +7
| 3,332,886
| 2.0
| 1
| 1
| 1.2
| −1
|-
| bgcolor="#C08081"| 
|align=left| Christian Labour Party
Christian Labour Party
The Christian Labour Party is a christian-conservative political party in Brazil.The party was founded in 1985 as Youth Party by Daniel Tourinho, a brazilian lawyer...

 (Partido Trabalhista Cristão, PTC)
| 595,431
| 0.6
| 1
| 0.1
| −2
|282,629
| 0.2
| 0
| 0
| 0.0
| —
|-
| bgcolor="#FC0FC0"| 
|align=left| National Labour Party
National Labour Party (Brazil)
The National Labour Party is a tiny populist-centrist Brazilian political party originally founded in 1945.It was founded by dissidents from the Brazilian Labor Party in 1945, and supported the winning candidacy of Jânio Quadros in 1960. It was abolished by the military regime in 1965.It was...

 (Partido Trabalhista Nacional, PTN)
| 182,926
| 0.2
| 0
| 0.0
| —
| 6,013
| 0.0
| 0
| 0
| 0.0
| —
|-
| bgcolor="#0247FE"| 
|align=left| Brazilian Social Democratic Party (Partido da Social Democracia Brasileira, PSDB)
| 11,477,380
| 11.9
| 53
| 10.3
| −13
| 30,903,736
| 18.1
| 5
| 11
| 13.5
| −5
|-
| bgcolor="#FFEF00"| 
|align=left| Democrats
Democrats (Brazil)
The Democrats is a centre-right political party in Brazil, considered the main in the right-wing spectrum. Despite its former name , the party affiliates itself to the Centrist Democrat International, and the International Democrat Union. The name comes from its support to free market policies...

 (Democratas, DEM)
| 7,301,171
| 7.6
| 43
| 8.3
| −22
| 10,225,883
| 6.0
| 2
| 6
| 7.4
| −7
|-
| bgcolor="red"| 
|align=left| Brazilian Labour Party
Brazilian Labour Party (current)
The Brazilian Labour Party is a center-right political party in Brazil founded in 1981 by Ivete Vargas, niece of President Getúlio Vargas. It claims the legacy of the historical PTB, although many historians reject this because the early version of PTB was a center-left party with wide support in...

 (Partido Trabalhista Brasileiro, PTB)
| 4,038,239
| 4.2
| 21
| 4.0
| −2
| 7,999,589
| 4.7
| 1
| 6
| 7.4
| −1
|-
| bgcolor="#F08080"| 
|align=left| Socialist People's Party
Socialist People's Party (Brazil)
The Socialist People's Party is a political party in Brazil.It was founded in 1992, after the Brazilian Communist Party decided to rename itself the Socialist People's Party as part of a political realignment following the collapse of the Soviet Union.The PPS was a part of the coalition government...

 (Partido Popular Socialista, PPS)
| 2,536,809
| 2.6
| 12
| 2.3
| −10
| 6,766,517
| 4.0
| 1
| 1
| 1.2
| +1
|-
| bgcolor="#FF4500"| 
|align=left| Party of National Mobilization
Party of National Mobilization
The Party of National Mobilization is a national-centrist political party in Brazil founded by politicians from the state of Minas Gerais on April 21, 1984, advocating for agrarian reform, termination of debt payments, ending of relations with the International Monetary Fund and formation of a...

 (Partido da Mobilização Nacional, PMN)
| 1,086,705
| 1.1
| 4
| 0.7
| +1
| 241,321
| 0.1
| 1
| 1
| 1.2
| +1
|-
| bgcolor="#AF4035"| 
|align=left| Labour Party of Brazil
Labour Party of Brazil
The Labour Party of Brazil is a tiny populist-centrist Brazilian political party.It was founded in 1989 by dissidents of the Brazilian Labour Party and is a minor force in Brazilian politics...

 (Partido Trabalhista do Brasil, PTdoB)
| 642,422
| 0.7
| 3
| 0.5
| +2
| 1,480,846
| 0.9
| 0
| 0
| 0.0
|-
| bgcolor="#E3A857"| 
|align=left| Progressive Party
Progressive Party (Brazil)
The Progressive party is a centre-right Brazilian political party embracing conservatism and elements of populism and liberalism....

 (Partido Progressista, PP)
| 6,330,062
| 6.6
| 41
| 7.9
| —
| 9,170,015
| 5.4
| 3
| 4
| 4.9
| +3
|-
| bgcolor="#4CBB17"| 
|align=left| Green Party
Green Party (Brazil)
The Brazilian Green Party was constituted after the military dictatorship period and, like other Green Parties around the world, is committed to establishing a set of policies on ensuring social-democracy and sustainable development...

 (Partido Verde, PV)
| 3,710,366
| 3.8
| 15
| 2.9
| +2
| 5,047,797
| 3.0
| 0
| 0
| 0.0
| −1
|-
| bgcolor="#801818"| 
|align=left| Socialism and Freedom Party
Socialism and Freedom Party
The Socialism and Freedom Party is a Brazilian political party . Among the party leaders are Heloísa Helena , federal deputies Luciana Genro and Babá , and a number of well-known Brazilian left-wing leaders and intellectuals, such as Milton Temer, Carlos Nelson Coutinho, Ricardo Antunes,...

 (Partido Socialismo e Liberdade, PSOL)
| 1,142,737
| 1.2
| 3
| 0.5
| —
| 3,041,854
| 1.8
| 2
| 2
| 2.4
| +1
|-
| bgcolor="orange"| 
|align=left| Humanist Party of Solidarity
Humanist Party of Solidarity (Brazil)
The Humanist Party of Solidarity is a Brazilian political party. Its electoral code is 31 and it became a registered political party on March 20, 1997. The party advocates distributism and Christian morals....

 (Partido Humanista da Solidariedade, PHS)
| 764,412
| 0.8
| 2
| 0.3
| —
| 305,793
| 0.2
| 0
| 0
| 0.0
| —
|-
| bgcolor="#4682B4"| 
|align=left| Social Liberal Party
Social Liberal Party (Brazil)
The Social Liberal Party is a liberal party in Brazil. At the legislative elections, 6 October 2002, the party won 1 out of 513 seats in the Chamber of Deputies and no seats in the Senate. In 2006 didn't win seats in the Chamber of Deputies and in the Senate...

 (Partido Social Liberal, PSL)
| 499,963
| 0.5
| 1
| 0.1
| +1
| 446,517
| 0.3
| 0
| 0
| 0.0
| —
|-
| bgcolor="#FF2400"| 
|align=left| Brazilian Labour Renewal Party
Brazilian Labour Renewal Party
The Brazilian Labour Renewal Party is a tiny populist-centrist Brazilian political party.In 2006 the party gained some electoral importance because of the election of ex-President Fernando Collor de Mello, impeached in 1992, who made his comeback in national politics as Senator....

 (Partido Renovador Trabalhista Brasileiro, PRTB)
| 307,925
| 0.3
| 2
| 0.3
| +2
| 74,478
| 0.0
| 0
| 0
| 0.0
| —
|-
| bgcolor="#C0C0C0"| 
|align=left| Progressive Republican Party
Progressive Republican Party (Brazil)
The Progressive Republican Party is a Brazilian political party. Its electoral number is 44 and it became a registered political party on November 22, 1991....

(Partido Republicano Progressista, PRP)
| 307,188
| 0.3
| 2
| 0.3
| +2
| 0
| 0.0
| 0
| 0
| 0.0
| —
|-
|colspan=2 align=right | Others
| 358,178
| 0.4
| 0
| 0.0
| —
| 677,309
| 0.4
| 0
| 0
| 0.0
| —
|-
|colspan=2 style="background-color:#E9E9E9" align=right | Total valid votes
|style="background-color:#E9E9E9" align=right | 96,580,011
|style="background-color:#E9E9E9" align=right | 100.0
|style="background-color:#E9E9E9" align=right | 513
|style="background-color:#E9E9E9" align=right | 100.0
|style="background-color:#E9E9E9" align=right | —
|style="background-color:#E9E9E9" align=right | 170,431,573
|style="background-color:#E9E9E9" align=right | 100.0
|style="background-color:#E9E9E9" align=right | 45
|style="background-color:#E9E9E9" align=right | 81
|style="background-color:#E9E9E9" align=right | 100.0
|style="background-color:#E9E9E9" align=right | —
|-
| colspan=14 |Sources: Chamber, Senate
|}

External links

Photos 360º of National Congress
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