Brazilian Democratic Movement Party
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Brazilian Democratic Movement Party
Brazilian Democratic Movement

Movimento Democrático Brasileiro
PresidentRomero Jucá
Founded4 December 1965 (original MDB)
30 June 1981 (registered as PMDB)
19 December 2017 (altered its name back to MDB)
Dissolved20 December 1979 (original MDB)
HeadquartersCâmara dos Deputados - Presidência do MDB, Ed. Principal sala T4 - Esplanada dos Ministérios
IdeologyBig tent[1][2]
Political positionCentre[3][4]
ColoursGreen, yellow, red, black
TSE Identification Number15
Seats in the Federal Senate
Seats in the Chamber of Deputies
Seats in Legislative Assemblies
Seats in Municipal Chambers

The Brazilian Democratic Movement (Portuguese: Movimento Democrático Brasileiro, MDB) is a Brazilian centrist political party.


Poster commemorating the party's 48th anniversary (2014)
Logo of the Brazilian Democratic Movement, 1965-1979

Under military rule from 1965 to 1979, Brazil had a legally enforced two party system, with supporters of the regime gathered under the National Renewal Alliance Party (ARENA) umbrella, and the official opposition making up the MDB. Essentially, the MDB comprised nearly all of the Brazilian Labour Party and the main body of the Social Democratic Party.

From 1979 onwards, a restricted number of parties were allowed, and nearly all of the old MDB reorganized as PMDB (Partido do Movimento Democrático Brasileiro; Brazilian Democratic Movement Party).

The MDB had been a big tent party uniting nearly all of the opposition to the military dictatorship. As such, it harboured elements ranging across the political spectrum. PMDB had a similar character to its predecessor, including a range of politicians from conservatives such as José Sarney to liberals such as Pedro Simon, leftists like Roberto Requião, populists like Íris Resende, nationalists like Orestes Quércia and the former guerilla movement MR-8.

In 1985, party leader Tancredo Neves won the presidential election, but died before taking office. His running mate José Sarney, who had recently joined the party after defecting from the political wing of the military, became president, serving until 1990. Up until 2016, he was the only president of Brazil to come from the party. In recent presidential elections the party has not run candidates of its own, preferring to focus on congressional and governatorial elections.

At the legislative elections on 6 October 2002, the party won 74 out of 513 seats in the Chamber of Deputies and 19 out of 81 seats in the Senate, making it one of the biggest parties in Brazil.

The party decided not to launch a candidate for the 2006 presidential election in order to be free to join any coalition in the states. Under Brazilian electoral law then, parties launching presidential candidates could not form alliances at the state level that differed at the national level (this norm was subsequently repealed). At the congressional elections in October 2006, PMDB won 89 of 513 seats in the Chamber of Deputies, becoming its biggest party; and in the Senate it had 15 of the 81 seats after its one-third renovation, becoming the third-largest party. PMDB also won seven state gubernatorial elections in the same election.

In 2010 the party made gains in the Senate, winning 16 of the elected seats for a total of 20. It was somewhat weakened in other elections, winning 79 seats in the Chamber of Deputies (becoming the second largest party) and winning five state governorships.

Notable PMDB members included: Wanderlei Silva, Tancredo Neves, Ulysses Guimarães, Itamar Franco, Orestes Quércia, Michel Temer, Anthony Garotinho, José Sarney, Renan Calheiros, Pedro Simon, Roberto Requião, Germano Rigotto, Paulo Skaf, Ramez Tebet, Marcelo Fortuna, Iris Rezende and Maguito Vilela.

On March 29, 2016, PMDB announced that it was leaving the coalition with the Workers' Party following accusations against President Dilma Rousseff and former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva of corruption.[5] The PMDB supported the impeachment process against Dilma Rousseff. After the impeachment process began, vice president Michel Temer formed a new center-right liberal coalition government with PSDB and other parties. He was confirmed as president as Dilma was permanently removed from office by the Senate on August, 31st 2016, thus becoming the second Brazilian president to hail from PMDB.

On December 19, 2017, the party reverted to its former name, Brazilian Democratic Movement (Portuguese: Movimento Democrático Brasileiro, MDB). The movement was seen as an attempt to renew party identity. The initials PMDB had become associated with corruption and cronyism, while the original acronym was associated with the struggle for democracy, according to party leader, Romero Jucá. The party announced a program based on economic liberalism, fiscal conservatism and greater openness to sectors of civil society such as evangelicals and environmentalists. The party also made it clear that it will prioritize parliamentarians who agree with the new positions of the party, which has been interpreted by many as a warning that rebel parliamentarians, especially the senator from Paraná, Roberto Requião, strongly associated with the Brazilian nationalist left, and even Renan Calheiros, the President of the Federal Senate, considered one of the most powerful personalities of Brazilian politics, but shows little alignment with Temer's government and propositions of economic liberalism, can be excluded from the party. A few days earlier, Senator Kátia Abreu of Tocantins was expelled from the party for her support of the opposition, especially for her firm stance against the pension reform, as an alignment to the PT of whom she had been allied in the mandate of Dilma Rousseff, and also an end of PMDB as a big-tent party.[6][7][8][9]


The predecessor of the party, MDB, was founded as a legal, civil movement of opposition to Brazilian military government. Without a clear program except the democratization of the country, the party was a umbrella of opponents of military regime, ranging from liberal conservatives and Christian democrats from parties like Christian Democratic Party and Social Democratic Party to former labourists, socialists and communists, of Brazilian Labour Party, Brazilian Socialist Party and Brazilian Communist Party. With the redemocratization, many centrists and leftists left the party and joined other parties with more consistent ideologies.

Many Christian democrats, social liberals and social democrats broke with the party in 1988 to form the Brazilian Social Democracy Party, led by Mario Covas, Fernando Henrique Cardoso, José Serra and Franco Montoro. Other PMDB members exit the party to left-wing legends, like the new incarnation of Brazilian Socialist Party, Communist Party of Brazil and Democratic Labour Party. In 2009, the last left-wing section of the party abandoned it and formed the Free Homeland Party, a hard left party descending from the MR-8 guerrilla. Some strong leftists, like senator Roberto Requião remained in the party, but more isolated and less powerful. Other powerful politicians within the party, like former Rio de Janeiro governor Sérgio Cabral Filho and senator Renan Calheiros, stablished a neutral political stance, sometimes described as "Physiological" by its critics.

However, the left-wing loss was strong replaced eventually by dissidents of centrist, centre-left and even right-wing parties, who joined to avoid falling out of power and/or losing feuds with local or national party leadership. This replacement changed the character of the party--from a catch-all party, it started to gravitate centre-right. The party denied the centre-right character or any strict adherence to any political ideology. The party maintains that it is a centrist party for all Brazilians committed with democracy.

Electoral history

Presidential elections on Electoral College

Election date Party candidate Number of Electoral vote Percentage of votes Role
1974 Ulysses Guimarães 76 16% In opposition
1978 Euler Bentes Moreiro 226 39.9% In opposition
1985 Tancredo Neves 480 72.73% In government

Presidential elections on popular vote

Election date Party candidate Number of votes Percentage of votes Role
1989 Ulysses Guimarães 3,204,853 4.7% In government
1994 Orestes Quércia 2,773,497 4.4 In opposition

Parliamentary elections

Election date Number of votes Percentage of votes Number of seats
1966 4,915,470 36.0%
1970 4,777,927 30.5%
1974 10,954,359 48.0%
1978 14,803,526 49.6%
1982 17,666,773 43.0%
1986 22,633,805 47.8%
1990 7,798,653 19.3%
1994 9,287,049 20.3%
1998 10,105,609 15.2%
2002 11,692,011 13.4%
2006 13,580,517 14.6%
2010 12,537,252 13.0%
2014 10,791,949 11.09%
2018 5,439,167 5.5%

Senate elections

Election date Number of votes Percentage of votes Number of seats
1966 5,911,361 43.4%
1970 13,440,875 39.6%
1974 14,486,252 59.0%
1978 17,432,948 57.1%
1982 18,410,338 43.7%
1986 Not released Not released
1990 Not released Not released
1998 13,414,074 21.7%
2002 Not released Not released
2006 10,148,024 12.0%
2010 23,998,949 14.1%
2014 12,129,969 13.58%
2018 12,800,290 7.5%


  1. ^ Rhodes, Sybil (2006). Social Movements and Free-Market Capitalism in Latin America. State University of New York Press. p. 117.
  2. ^ Lansford, Tom, ed. (2014). "Switzerland". Political Handbook of the World 2014. CQ Press/SAGE. p. 183.
  3. ^ Power, Timothy J. (2008). Kingstone, Peter, ed. Centering Democracy?: Ideological Cleavages and Convergence in the Brazilian Political Class. Democratic Brazil Revisited. University of Pittsburgh Press. p. 89.
  4. ^ Porto, Mauro P. (2008). Democratization and Election News Coverage in Brazil. Handbook of Election News Coverage Around the World. Routledge. p. 253.
  5. ^ "Brazil's biggest party quits ruling coalition, Rousseff isolated". Reuters. 30 March 2016. Retrieved 2017 – via Reuters.
  6. ^ "PMDB aprova mudança de sigla para MDB". Poder360 (in Portuguese). 2017-12-19. Retrieved .
  7. ^ "PMDB aprova mudança de nome e passa a ser chamado MDB". G1 (in Portuguese). Retrieved .
  8. ^ "PMDB muda nome para MDB e terá segmentos evangélico e socioambiental". Valor Econômico (in Portuguese). Retrieved .
  9. ^ "PMDB expulsa Kátia Abreu, e Requião pode ser o próximo". O Globo (in Portuguese). 2017-11-23. Retrieved .
Preceded by
14 - BLP (PTB)
Numbers of Brazilian Official Political Parties
15 - BDM (MDB)
Succeeded by
16 - USWP (PSTU)

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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