Brazil: Government

Federative Republic of Brazil Flag
Coat of Arms of Federative Republic of Brazil

Key Figures

Chief of State: President Dilma Rousseff

Head of Government: President Dilma Rousseff


Government Name: Federative Republic of Brazil

Constitution: Adopted: 1988; Resulting from the previous six constitutions, this version of the Constitution abolished monarchy in Brazil and introduced separate state powers. It also reinforces the powers of the legislature and introduces environmental protection.

Government Type: Federal Republic

Main Powers Election Process Election Cycle Source: ElectionGuide,

The president leads the executive branch and is the commander-in-chief of the Brazilian armed forces. The vice president would replace the president and assumes the role of presidency while president is abroad. The cabinet administers assist the president in the exercise of the executive power by administrating a corresponding government ministry.

The president and vice president are elected by the citizens of Brazil by absolute majority vote through a two-round system.

4 years


The judiciary is separate from other government entities.

Justices are appointed by the president and approved by the federal senate.

Mandatory retirement age of 70


The federal senate is the upper house of bicameral congress. The chamber of deputies is the lower house.

The federal senate has 81 members who are elected by plurality vote in multi-member constituencies. The chamber of deputies has 513 members who are elected through an open-list proportional representation system.

Federal Senate: 8 years; Chamber of Deputies: 4 years

International Relations

Foreign Policy Trends: Brazil has traditionally been a leader in the inter-American community. It has played an important role in collective security efforts, as well as in economic cooperation in the Western Hemisphere. Recently, Brazil has given high priority to expanding relations with its South American neighbors and is a founding member of the Latin American Integration Association (ALADI); the Union of South American Nations (UNASUL) created in June 2004; and Mercosul (Mercosur). As Brazil's domestic economy has grown and diversified, the country has become increasingly involved in international economic and trade policy discussions.

Regional Trade Blocs: MERCOSUR

Treaties: South American Defense Council


CIA World Factbook and U.S. Bilateral Relations Fact Sheets except where stated otherwise.