Minor Parties in Congress

Minor Parties in Congress

In 1995 eleven smaller parties were represented in Congress, of which five are noteworthy.

Liberal Party

Deputy Alvaro Valle (PDS-Rio de Janeiro) founded the center-right Liberal Party (Partido Liberal--PL) in 1985. Dubbed the businessman's Workers' Party, the Liberal Party rapidly supplanted the Liberal Front Party (Partido da Frente Liberal--PFL) in São Paulo. In the elections of November 15, 1986, the Liberal Party secured seven seats in the Chamber of Deputies and one in the Senate. It received 4.8 percent of the national vote in 1990 and elected fifteen deputies. On taking their seats in February 1991, the new Liberal Party deputies joined the opposition bloc against Collor. In 1994 the Liberal Party elected no governors, one senator, and thirteen deputies.

Party of National Reconstruction

Created in February 1989 by a takeover of the Youth Party as an election vehicle for Collor's candidacy, the conservative Party of National Reconstruction (Partido da Reconstrução Nacional--PRN) immediately received twenty deputies and two senators. After Collor's election, the party increased its congressional delegation in 1990, but had a dismal performance in the October 3 elections that year: forty deputies and only 7 percent of the vote, and no governors. In 1994 the party, reduced to four deputies and four senators, elected one federal and two state deputies.

Brazilian Socialist Party

Resurrected in 1986 from the pre-1964 Socialist Party, the left-wing Brazilian Socialist Party (Partido Socialista Brasileiro--PSB) elected seven representatives to the ANC (National Constituent Assembly). It joined the Brazilian Popular Front (Frente Brasil Popular--FBP) coalition in 1989 in support of Lula, and again in 1994. With 2.3 percent of the national vote in 1990, the PSB elected eleven deputies, including twice governor of Pernambuco Miguel Arraes, PSB president. The PSB, which has a more pragmatic socialism than the Workers' Party, contributed two ministers to Franco's cabinet. In 1994 the PSB elected two governors (including Arraes), one senator, and fifteen federal deputies.

Brazilian Communist Party

In 1993 the Brazilian Communist Party (Partido Comunista Brasileiro--PCB), in a stormy national convention led by its president, Deputy Roberto Freire, removed Marxist-Leninist doctrine from the party statutes and the hammer and sickle from its flag, and changed its name to the PPS (Popular Socialist Party). The original PCB had been organized in 1922. At Moscow's initiative, Luis Carlos Prestes took over the PCB's leadership in the mid-1930s. Prestes presided over the party until the early 1980s, when he was ousted by a renovated Euro-communist faction that had tired of his Stalinist line. During its illegal period (1948-85), the PCB was able to elect a few of its members under other party labels. The PCB regained legal registry in 1985, elected three representatives to the ANC in 1986, and again in 1990, always in coalitions. Deputy Freire carried the PCB banner as candidate for president in 1989, and became floor leader of the Franco government in 1992. In 1994 the PPS joined the FBP in support of Lula and elected one senator (Freire) and only two federal deputies.

Communist Party of Brazil

The Communist Party of Brazil (Partido Comunista do Brasil--PC do B) was created as an underground splinter from the PCB in 1958, following Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev's denunciations of Stalinist atrocities. The PC do B repudiated the new Moscow line and aligned itself with Maoism. When the People's Republic of China began making economic reforms in 1979, the PC do B aligned itself with Albania. When Albania held its first free elections in 1992, the PC do B became nonaligned. After the PC do B was legalized in 1985, under the leadership of former deputy and former guerrilla João Amazonas, it elected more deputies in 1986 and 1990 than its arch rival, the PCB. The PC do B joined the FBP in support of Lula in 1989 and 1994. The PC do B doubled its delegation from five to ten federal deputies, representing nine states, in 1994. This feat resulted from PC do B domination of student organizations in most states and astute use of coalitions.

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