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Curtis' Mission

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Elections In Brazil


"How was your week? Was it as nerve-racking and ever so sweet as mine was? Since I am very doubt-filled I thought a bunch of things would happen that I didn't want to, but somehow my faith was strong enough and much good came out of the week. After a transfer, a trip to McDonald's, and a Presidential Election, the week turned out to be excellent. I am still in Vila Mariana and Elder Jones is still my companion, which is great."

Brazil elects on the national level a head of state – the president – and a legislature. The president is elected for a four-year term by the people. The National Congress (Congresso Nacional) has two chambers. The Chamber of Deputies (Câmara dos Deputados) has 513 members, elected for a four-year term by proportional representation. The Federal Senate (Senado Federal) has 81 members, elected for an eight-year term, with elections every four years for alternatively one-third and two-third of the seats. Brazil has a multi-party system, with numerous parties in which often no one party has a chance of gaining power alone, and so must work with each other to form coalition governments.

"Brasil re-elected Lula as President of the Republic on Sunday. He's cool because he has a sweet beard, just like I will one day have."

Luis Inacio Lula da Silva

Born: October 1945
Birthplace: Vargem Grande, Brazil
President of Brazil, 2002-present

Luis Inacio "Lula" da Silva was elected president of Brazil in 2002. He was a populist left-wing candidate, leading a coalition of parties behind the banner of the Partidos Trabalhadores (PT, or Labor Party). Da Silva was born into poverty and trained as a metalworker, gradually becoming active in the Metalworker's Union. He was elected president of the union in 1975. He was a prominent labor spokesman during a series of strikes (1978-81) and became a co-founder of the PT. He was elected to the country's House of Representatives in 1986 and in 1990 made his first of three unsuccessful runs at the presidency. Lula was finally elected in 2002 on a platform of economic and political reform, promising especially to attack hunger in Brazil. He ran for reelection in 2006; despite a corruption scandal that tarnished his reputation as a reformer, he beat challenger Geraldo Alckmin in October of 2006 for a second term.

He legally adopted the nickname Lula in 1982; the name, a play on his first name of Luis, means "squid" in Portuguese.

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