Congressional and State Elections, 1990

Congressional and State Elections, 1990

Although President Collor had been able to pass most of his emergency legislation in 1990, he knew that his government needed to elect a solid majority to Congress, backed up by sympathetic governors. The economic stabilization plan adopted in March 1990 produced a deep recession, which was not reversed before the October 3 general elections. The 1988 constitution had created three new states--Amapá, Roraima, and Tocantins--and home rule came to Brasília, which elected its first governor. Thus, twenty-six states and the Federal District held simultaneous elections for governor, state assemblies, the full 503-member Chamber of Deputies, and thirty-one senators (the new states of Amapá and Roraima elected three senators each).

Seventeen of the gubernatorial races had runoffs on November 15. Among the twenty-seven governors elected, Collor had four staunch allies, eleven sometime allies, and twelve in opposition. Parties nominally aligned with Collor had elected close to an absolute majority (252) of federal deputies, but because of low party loyalty and cohesion, the president had great difficulty passing his legislative agenda in 1991 (see table 24, Appendix). The PMDB (Brazilian Democratic Movement Party) remained the largest party in Congress, retaining the presidency of the Senate. However, in 1993 the PMDB lost the presidency of the Chamber to a PFL-led coalition. Nineteen parties gained representation in the lower house.

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