Ruling coalition wins majority in Brazil's Congress

13:31, October 06, 2010      

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Core parties allied to Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva have secured a majority in Congress in Sunday's general elections, according to latest vote count results.

The new parliamentarian makeup will boost the position of Dilma Rousseff, the presidential candidate of the ruling Workers' Party (PT), when she faces off in the Oct. 31 runoff with rival Jose Serra of the Social Democracy Party (PSDB).

The ruling coalition managed to expand presence in the Federal Senate, the upper house of the Congress, as they took 57 out of 81 seats, with 36 of them belonging to the PT and to the Brazilian Democratic Movement Party (PMDB), the core parties of Rousseff's 10-party center-left coalition.

However, the numbers may change pending a decision of Brazil's supreme court, which will determine whether a new law that prevents the political candidacy of people facing convictions or prosecutions applies to this election.

If the court says the law applies to Sunday's election, the outcome for the Senate in the states of Para and Paraiba will change.

If not, about 19 to 21 senators will represent the PMDB, and 15 will represent the PT in the upper house.

For the Chamber of Deputies, the lower house of the Congress, the ruling coalition will have 72 percent of the 513 seats.

The PT was the biggest winner in the lower house, as the number of its seats increased from 79 to 88 after the election.

The PMDB lost 10 seats, a decrease from 90 to 80, but the Brazilian Socialist Party (PSB), also in the ruling coalition, had their seats increased from 27 to 36.

On the opposition side, the PSDB's presence shrank from 65 to 53 deputies, and the deputies of the Democrats Party (DEM) decreased from 54 to 43.

Although the Green Party's presidential candidate Marina Silva surprisingly garnered 20 percent of valid votes in the elections, the party's presence remained at 14 seats.

In all, the new Congress would allow Rousseff to count on a qualified majority, equivalent to three fifths of the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate, or 308 and 49 respectively, needed to approve constitutional amendments and laws.

Besides, the opposition would not reach the minimum required to create Parliamentary Committees of Inquiry (CPIs), an instrument commonly used in Brazilian politics to block the legislative process and prevent the enactment of new laws.

If elected, Rousseff "will have an unprecedented parliamentary majority to deal with her agenda," local newspaper Folha de Sao Paulo said in an article published on Tuesday.

Source: Xinhua


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