Brazilian Democratic Movement

Brazilian Democratic Movement

Movimento Democrático Brasileiro
PresidentRomero Jucá
Founded4 December 1965 (original MDB)
30 June 1981 (registered as PMDB)
19 December 2017 (altered its name back to MDB)
Dissolved20 December 1979 (original MDB)
HeadquartersCâmara dos Deputados - Presidência do MDB, Ed. Principal sala T4 - Esplanada dos Ministérios
Brasília
IdeologyBig tent[1][2]
Political positionCentre[3][4]
ColoursGreen, yellow, red, black
TSE Identification Number15
Seats in the Federal Senate
12 / 81
Seats in the Chamber of Deputies
34 / 513
Governorships
7 / 27
Seats in Legislative Assemblies
147 / 1,024
Mayorships
1,022 / 5,568
www.mdb.org.br

The Brazilian Democratic Movement (Portuguese: Movimento Democrático Brasileiro, MDB) is a Brazilian centrist political party.

History

Poster commemorating the party's 48th anniversary (2014)
Logo of the Brazilian Democratic Movement, 1965-1979

Under military rule from 1965 to 1979, Brazil had a legally enforced two party system, with supporters of the regime gathered under the National Renewal Alliance Party (ARENA) umbrella, and the official opposition making up the MDB. Essentially, the MDB comprised nearly all of the Brazilian Labour Party and the main body of the Social Democratic Party.

From 1979 onwards, a restricted number of parties were allowed, and nearly all of the old MDB reorganized as PMDB (Partido do Movimento Democrático Brasileiro; Brazilian Democratic Movement Party).

The MDB had been a big tent party uniting nearly all of the opposition to the military dictatorship. As such, it harboured elements ranging across the political spectrum. PMDB had a similar character to its predecessor, including a range of politicians from conservatives such as José Sarney to liberals such as Pedro Simon, leftists like Roberto Requião, populists like Íris Resende, nationalists like Orestes Quércia and the former guerilla movement MR-8.

In 1985, party leader Tancredo Neves won the presidential election, but died before taking office. His running mate José Sarney, who had recently joined the party after defecting from the political wing of the military, became president, serving until 1990. Up until 2016, he was the only president of Brazil to come from the party. In recent presidential elections the party has not run candidates of its own, preferring to focus on congressional and governatorial elections.

At the legislative elections on 6 October 2002, the party won 74 out of 513 seats in the Chamber of Deputies and 19 out of 81 seats in the Senate, making it one of the biggest parties in Brazil.

The party decided not to launch a candidate for the 2006 presidential election in order to be free to join any coalition in the states. Under Brazilian electoral law then, parties launching presidential candidates could not form alliances at the state level that differed at the national level (this norm was subsequently repealed). At the congressional elections in October 2006, PMDB won 89 of 513 seats in the Chamber of Deputies, becoming its biggest party; and in the Senate it had 15 of the 81 seats after its one-third renovation, becoming the third-largest party. PMDB also won seven state gubernatorial elections in the same election.

In 2010 the party made gains in the Senate, winning 16 of the elected seats for a total of 20. It was somewhat weakened in other elections, winning 79 seats in the Chamber of Deputies (becoming the second largest party) and winning five state governorships.

Notable PMDB members included: Wanderlei Silva, Tancredo Neves, Ulysses Guimarães, Itamar Franco, Orestes Quércia, Michel Temer, Anthony Garotinho, José Sarney, Renan Calheiros, Pedro Simon, Roberto Requião, Germano Rigotto, Paulo Skaf, Ramez Tebet, Marcelo Fortuna, Iris Rezende and Maguito Vilela.

On March 29, 2016, PMDB announced that it was leaving the coalition with the Workers' Party following accusations against President Dilma Rousseff and former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva of corruption.[5] The PMDB supported the impeachment process against Dilma Rousseff. After the impeachment process began, vice president Michel Temer formed a new center-right liberal coalition government with PSDB and other parties. He was confirmed as president as Dilma was permanently removed from office by the Senate on August, 31st 2016, thus becoming the second Brazilian president to hail from PMDB.

On December 19, 2017, the party reverted to its former name, Brazilian Democratic Movement (Portuguese: Movimento Democrático Brasileiro, MDB). The movement was seen as an attempt to renew party identity. The initials PMDB had become associated with corruption and cronyism, while the original acronym was associated with the struggle for democracy, according to party leader, Romero Jucá. The party announced a program based on economic liberalism, fiscal conservatism and greater openness to sectors of civil society such as evangelicals and environmentalists. The party also made it clear that it will prioritize parliamentarians who agree with the new positions of the party, which has been interpreted by many as a warning that rebel parliamentarians, especially the senator from Paraná, Roberto Requião, strongly associated with the Brazilian nationalist left, and even Renan Calheiros, the President of the Federal Senate, considered one of the most powerful personalities of Brazilian politics, but shows little alignment with Temer's government and propositions of economic liberalism, can be excluded from the party. A few days earlier, Senator Kátia Abreu of Tocantins was expelled from the party for her support of the opposition, especially for her firm stance against the pension reform, as an alignment to the PT of whom she had been allied in the mandate of Dilma Rousseff, and also an end of PMDB as a big-tent party.[6][7][8][9]

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