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:
The current governor of the state of Sao Paulo is Alberto Goldman of the Brazilian Social Democracy Party, or PSDB. Indeed the PSDB has dominated São Paulo politics since 1994 and their re-election in 2006 meant that they shall continue to do so for at least another four years.
Sao Paulo’s state administrative buildings are in fact in the mountain city of Campos do Jordão.
Some of Sao Paulo’s prominent politicians include former president of Brazil Fernando Henrique Cardoso, the current president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, and Paulo Maluf (Progressive Party). Maluf is a controversial figure in São Paulo politics and has frequently been accused of corruption. However he remains popular among local voters since it was under his governments that the Sao Paulo Subway System (the first in Brazil) and the Costa e Silva expressway (or Minhocão) were constructed. Maluf failed to be elected in the last elections for state governor or for mayor of the state capital however.
The last two Brazilian presidents, Fernando Henrique Cardoso (PSDB) and Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (PT), were both politicians from Sao Paulo.
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