Brazil Politics and Administration

The new constitution promulgated on September 18, 1946 replaces that of 1937, dictated by President Vargas. Brazil constitutes a federal republic of 20 states, the federal district, as well as the federal territories; the federative imprint is alive in the constitution of 1946 in contrast to the stronger unitary tendency of the constitution of 1937, although with regard to both the constitution and the situation – legal and factual – kept in mind in the constitution of 1891, the unitary constraints they are strengthened by the greater intensity and ease of relations between the various states, and also by the national character now assumed by all legislation. All matters relating to foreign, military, monetary and credit policies essentially belong to the Union,

Each state is governed by its own constitution, respecting the criteria dictated by the federal constitution, which provides for the election of a president and a chamber, and legislates in matters within its competence. In certain cases, the Union can intervene in the state by appointing an “interventionist” instead of the governor.

The territory of each state is divided into municipalities governed, in turn, by a municipal council (elective) and a mayor (preferred). The city of Rio de Janeiro forms the Federal District whose mayor is appointed by the president of the republic. For Brazil political system, please check

The Brazilian constitution of 1946 respects the classic division of powers and is inspired by the so-called presidential system, being able to be similar to the constitution and the constitutional tradition of the United States which has largely influenced the constitutional tradition of all the states of Latin America.

The executive power is entrusted to the president of the republic chosen by direct suffrage by all citizens, the electors being men and women, over 21 years of age, who can read and write; he appoints and dismisses his ministers as secretaries of state and goes to the legislative power by means of messages. Legislative power is entrusted to the two chambers; the chamber of deputies made up of 286 deputies, chosen by direct suffrage and with the criterion of proportional representation of the various parties in the various states, each of which is assigned a number of deputies proportional to its population; the Senate made up of 63 senators chosen by direct suffrage: three for each state (electoral law no. 7586 of May 8, 1945).

The candidacies of the president of the republic, deputies and senators must be proposed by one or more parties; the parties must be national and acquire legal existence through the register at the electoral court.

The judicial power refers in the first instance to individual judges; secondly, to the courts established in the various states; in the third instance to the federal appeals court, while the supreme federal court now has original jurisdiction (e.g. in conflicts between states or between the Union and a state), now capable of ordinary appeal (e.g. in matters of of habeas corpus) or extraordinary (e.g. when the unconstitutionality of a law is attached).

The constitution contains an extensive title dedicated to the declaration of rights which limits the powers of the authorities and is inspired by the liberal ideology. The title on the economic and social order expresses a prudent state interventionism.

The division into 20 states, a federal district and a territory, underwent a first modification in February 1942 with the creation of the Fernando de Noronha territory, a group of islands that until that year had been part of the state of Pernambuco. At the expense of other federal states, in September 1943, 5 territories were created directly administered by the central authorities: Amapá, Rio Branco, Guaporé, Ponta Porã, Iguaçú (see in this App.). The constitution of September 1946, which left unchanged the division of the republic into 28 federal units, established the movement of the capital on the central plateau of the country.

Brazil Politics and Administration