Government and politics
The Brazilian Federation is based on the union of three autonomous political entities: the States, the Municipalities and the Federal District. A fourth entity originated in the aforementioned association: the Union. There is no hierarchy among the political entities. The Federation is set on six fundamental principles: sovereignty, citizenship, dignity of the people, social value of labor, freedom of enterprise, and political pluralism. The classic tripartite branches of government (executive, legislative, and judicial under the checks and balances system), is formally established by the Constitution. The executive and legislative are organized independently in all four political entities, while the judiciary is organized only in the federal and state levels.
All members of the executive and legislative branches are directly elected. Judges and other judicial officials are appointed after passing entry exams. Voting is compulsory for those between 18 and 65 years old. Four political parties stand out among several small ones: Workers' Party (PT), Brazilian Social Democracy Party (PSDB), Brazilian Democratic Movement Party (PMDB), and Democrats (formerly Liberal Front Party - PFL). Almost all governmental and administrative functions are exercised by authorities and agencies affiliated to the Executive.
The form of government is that of a democratic republic, with a presidential system. The president is both head of state and head of government of the Union and is elected for a four-year term, with the possibility of re-election for a second successive term. The current president is Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. He was elected on October 27, 2002, and re-elected on October 29, 2006. The President appoints the Ministers of State, who assist in governing. Legislative houses in each political entity are the main source of laws in Brazil. The National Congress is the Federation’s...