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Fragmented Congress a challenge to Brazil gov’t

It will be tough to garner Congress support for decision making

Published in 10/10/2018 - 17:28

By Gilberto Costa Brasília

The aggravation in the fragmented constellation of political parties after the elections last Sunday (Oct. 7) will demand considerable effort from the next president to garner Congress support. Political scientists argue that negotiations must include balancing agendas and demands from allies—who, as recent history has shown, want to benefit from supporters with both power and funds to serve their coalitions.

According to information raised by Agência Brasil, the Chamber of Deputies—as the Brazilian lower house is called—will go from its current 25 political parties to a total of 30. The election also changed a great amount of seats for upcoming tenures. Of the 54 seats in the Senate, 46 will be occupied by new Congress members. In the lower house, 52 percent of representatives changed—the highest renewal rate since 20 years ago.

Sociologist and political scientist Bolívar Lamounier noted that the fragmentation of Brazil’s Congress “reached the world’s highest number of parties represented in Parliament.”

In the view of Aldo Fornazieri, director at São Paulo’s Sociology and Politics School, the fragmentation is a sign that “whoever is elected will face difficulties forging political alliances. Alignment won’t come as a matter of course. No one will manage to build large-scale coalitions.”

“High fragmentation should also make an impact on deliberation processes, so costs for the Executive will also grow,” adds sociologist Pedro Célio Borges, of the Social Sciences College of the Federal University of Goiás (UFG).

Translation: Fabrício Ferreira Edition: Carolina Pimentel / Augusto Queiroz

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