President of Brazil

President of the Federative Republic of Brazil
Presidente da República Federativa do Brasil
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Jair Bolsonaro em 24 de abril de 2019 (1).jpg
Jair Bolsonaro

since 1 January 2019
Federal government of Brazil
StyleMr. President or even simply President
Most Excellent Mr. President of the Republic
His Excellency
(alternative formal, diplomatic)
StatusHead of State
Head of Government
Member ofCabinet
National Defense Council
ResidencePalácio da Alvorada
NominatorPolitical Party
AppointerNational Congress of Brazil
Term lengthFour years
Renewable once
Constituting instrumentConstitution of Brazil
Inaugural holderDeodoro da Fonseca
FormationProclamation of the Republic
15 November 1889
DeputyVice President of Brazil
SalaryR$ 402,151 annually[1]
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The President of Brazil (Portuguese: Presidente do Brasil), officially the President of the Federative Republic of Brazil (Portuguese: Presidente da República Federativa do Brasil) or simply the President of the Republic, is both the head of state and the head of government of Brazil. The president leads the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the Brazilian Armed Forces. The presidential system was established in 1889, upon the proclamation of the republic in a military coup d'état against Emperor Pedro II. Since then, Brazil has had six constitutions, three dictatorships, and three democratic periods. During the democratic periods, voting has always been compulsory. The Constitution of Brazil, along with several constitutional amendments, establishes the requirements, powers, and responsibilities of the president, their term of office and the method of election.[2]

Jair Bolsonaro is the 38th and current President. He was sworn in on 1 January 2019 following the 2018 presidential election.[3]

Constitutional powers

As a republic with a presidential executive, Brazil grants significant powers to the president, who effectively controls the executive branch, represents the country abroad, and appoints the cabinet and, with the approval of the Senate, the judges for the Supreme Federal Court. The president is also the commander-in-chief of the armed forces.

Presidents in Brazil have significant lawmaking powers, exercised either by proposing laws to the National Congress or by using Medidas Provisórias (provisional measures), an instrument with the force of law that the president can enact in cases of urgency and necessity except to make changes to some areas of law (provisional measures cannot be used to change criminal law or electoral law). A provisional measure comes into effect immediately, before Congress votes on it, and remains in force for up to 60 days unless Congress votes to rescind it. The 60-day period can be extended once, up to 120 days. If Congress, on the other hand, votes to approve the provisional measure, it becomes an actual law, with changes decided by the legislative branch. The provisional measure expires at the end of the 60-day period (or the 120-day, in the case of extension), or sooner, if rejected by one of the Houses of Congress.[4]

Article 84 of the current Federal Constitution, determines that the president has the power to

  1. appoint and dismiss the ministers of state;
  2. exercise, with the assistance of the ministers of state, the higher management of the federal administration
  1. start the legislative procedure, in the manner and in the cases set forth in the constitution;
  2. sanction, promulgate and order the publication of laws, and issue decrees and regulations for the true enforcement thereof;
  3. veto bills, wholly or in part;
  4. provide, by means of decree, on organization and structure of federal administration if there is neither increase of expenses nor creation or extinction of public agencies; and extinction of offices or positions, when vacant;
  5. maintain relations with foreign States and to accredit their diplomatic representatives;
  6. conclude international treaties, conventions and acts, subject to the ratification of the National Congress of Brazil;
  7. decree the state of defense and the state of siege, in accordance with the constitutional procedures that precede and authorize those emergency decrees;
  8. decree and enforce federal intervention, in accordance with the constitutional procedures that precede and authorize such exceptional action;
  9. upon the opening of the legislative session, send a government message and plan to the National Congress, describing the state of the nation and requesting the actions he deems necessary;
  10. grant pardons and reduce sentences, after hearing the entities instituted by law, if necessary;
  11. exercise the supreme command of the armed forces, appoint the commanders of navy, army and air force, promote general officers and to appoint them to the offices held exclusively by them;
  12. appoint, after approval by the Federal Senate, the Justices of the Supreme Federal Court and those of the superior courts, the Governors of the territories, the Prosecutor General of the Republic, the president and the directors of the Central Bank and other civil servants, when established by law;
  13. appoint, with due regard for the provisions of Article 73, the Justices of the Court of Accounts of the Union;
  14. appoint judges in the events established by this constitution and the Attorney General of the Union;
  15. appoint members of the Council of the Republic, in accordance with article 89, VII;
  16. summon and preside over the Council of the Republic and the National Defense Council;
  17. declare war, in the event of foreign aggression, authorized by the National Congress or confirmed by it, whenever it occurs between legislative sessions and, under the same conditions, to decree full or partial national mobilization;
  18. make peace, authorized or confirmed by the National Congress;
  19. award decorations and honorary distinctions;
  20. permit, in the cases set forth by supplementary law, foreign forces to pass through the national territory, or to remain temporarily therein;
  21. submit to the National Congress the pluriannual plan, the bill of budgetary directives and the budget proposals set forth in this constitution;
  22. render, each year, accounts to the National Congress concerning the previous fiscal year, within sixty days of the opening of the legislative session;
  23. fill and abolish federal government positions, as set forth by law;
  24. issue provisional measures, with force of law, according to Article 62;
  25. perform other duties set forth in the constitution.
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