Brazil General Elections: an overview of the 2019 National Congress

The 2018 General elections brought the largest change to the Brazilian Congress in 20 years, with many traditional parties and politicians losing ground to a new composition of congressmen. The results showed a clear growth of right-wing actors in Congress, generally in favor of economic liberalism, rather than nationalistic and anti-IP agendas. Indeed, the Liberal Social Party (PSL) had the biggest growth in seats at the Congress.

VARIATION IN THE NUMBER OF SEATS IN THE NATIONAL CONGRESS BY PARTY

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President-elected Jair Bolsonaro has already gathered the informal support from multi-partisan Congress caucuses (evangelical, rural and security), and his base thus has the potential of reaching 300 votes. Though a more conservative Congress tends to back the policies of a right-wing rather than leftist president, Bolsonaro’s ability to reach agreements with Congress is unpredictable.

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

The House of Representatives had a change of 52.4% in its composition, the biggest change in 20 years. The party fragmentation remains high, with 30 parties represented in the House. The number of right-wing parties increased, while the number of center parties reduced. The left-wing parties’ amount remained the same.

Of the total 513 representatives, 244 (48%) were reelected, while 269 (52%) will serve their first term in the house. 372 representatives have already held public positions. About 55% of the new House of Representative is composed by parties that have an economic liberal agenda, while 28% is composed by parties that have a nationalist and anti-IP agenda.

NUMBER OF SEATS IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES BY PARTY

SENATE

The Senate had a change of 58% in its composition, the biggest in its history. In relation to the seats open for dispute (2/3 of 81), the change of composition was 85%. The party fragmentation reached its highest level since the end of the Military Regime, with 21 parties represented.

Of the 54 seats open for dispute, only 8 (15%) were filled by reelected senators, the remaining 46 seats (85%) were filled by new senators. Out of the 46 new senators, 9 have never held public office. About 47% of the new Senate is composed by parties that have an economic liberal agenda, while 22% is composed by parties that have a nationalist and anti-IP agenda.

NUMBER OF SEATS IN THE SENATE BY PARTY

Read the analysis written by Licks Attorneys Government Affairs & International Relations group in EnglishJapanese & French.

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