Brazil Congress has highest number of new members in recent history

Representatives swear in and choose heads of both congressional houses

Published on 01/02/2019 - 15:06 By Heloisa Cristaldo - Brasília

The members of Brazil's National Congress are taking office today (Feb. 1) and starting their 2019–2023 tenure in the lower house—the Chamber of Deputies—and the Senate.

The new period is marked by one of the highest rates of new members since the return of democracy. In the Senate, of the 54 seats occupied by the winners of the 2018 elections, 46 will be taken by new names—a renovation of 87 percent. In the lower house, the rate reached 52 percent of Congress members elected.

With more political parties represented and fewer known members in its composition, the Senate now has names across 21 parties, compared to 2015’s 15.

In the Chamber of Deputies, the percentage of renovation was only higher twice since 1990: in the elections of that year (62 percent) and in 1994 (54 percent). In all, 243 deputies will take office for the first time, while 270 others have been members of the lower house before.

Jair Bolsonaro’s Social Liberal Party (PSL) was the party with the highest amount of new representatives in the 2019–2023 tenure: 47 of a total 52 federal deputies.

The Workers’ Party, of former Presidents Lula and Dilma Rousseff, saw the largest number of re-elected representatives: 40 of the total 56.


The 513 deputies elected in October are taking office at a solemn session held today (1) in the lower house. Every four years, when all 513 seats are up for grabs, the ritual repeats itself: winning officials answer the roll call and take the oath.

The Senate, formed by 81 members, is swearing in 54 politicians, as only two thirds of the house was renewed following the elections last year. Senators in Brazil have a term of office of eight years.

Translation: Fabrício Ferreira -  Edition: Nira Foster

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