Brazil has struggled through many difficult political changes. The country now has a federal presidential representative democratic republic. The President of Brazil is both head of state and head of government with executive power. The president holds office for four years, with the right to re-election for an additional four-year term, and appoints his own cabinet. The Legislative branch is vested in both the government and the two chambers of the National Congress. The Judiciary is the system of courts and is independent of the executive and the legislature divisions.
Brazil is divided into 27 states, including the Federal District. The states are semi-autonomous, self-governing entities organized with complete administration branches, some financial independence, and unique symbols.
The current President is Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. He ran for president several times before succeeding in becoming president on October 27th, 2002. He was re-elected on October 29th, 2006 with approximately 58 million votes (60.83 percent of valid votes).
Fifteen political parties are represented in Congress. It is common practice for politicians to switch parties and the proportion of congressional seats held by particular parties changes regularly. The major political parties are:
Rio was once the head of state affairs as the capital of Brazil from 1763 until 1960. The move to the new inland capitol of Brasilia was a controversial move that has received some negativity. Rio de Janeiro took this change as inspiration to renovate it's government and modernize the city's economy, reduce its chronic social inequalities, and improve its commercial standing as part of an initiative for the regeneration of the tourism industry.
One of Rio de Janerio's most influential mayors, Cesar Maia, was twice nominated for World Mayor. He is notable for having been elected for mayor of Rio de Janeiro three times. Eduardo Paes is his predecessor and current Rio de Janeiro Mayor, elected at the end of 2008. His success at bringing the Olympics to Rio has been widely commended.
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