Brazil’s government is that of a Democratic Federative Republic with a presidential system. The President, who is elected for a four-year term, is both the head of state and government and can serve for a maximum of two terms. The president appoints the Prime Minister who assists in the government administration. The President of Brazil also has several functions including maintaining foreign relations with other states, vetoing bills, granting pardon to prisoners, concluding international treaties, appointing judges, and performing other duties set in the constitution. The Brazilian presidential system was established in 1889 after the military coup against Emperor Pedro II. 37 presidents have since served Brazil. These presidents include;
Deodoro da Fonseca
Born on August 5, 1827, in Vila Madalena, Alagoas, Deodoro da Fonseca pursued a military career in his early life becoming a competent and courageous military officer. His contribution to the army made him a national figure in Brazil. On November 15, 1889, Fonseca led a military coup that overthrew Emperor Pedro II becoming the head of the provisional government which led to the formation of the United States of Brazil. He was elected President of Brazil on February 25, 1891. However, his leadership was marked by conflict between him and his Vice President who was supported by the civilian Republican. On November 3, 1891, He declared a state of emergency and resigned from office on November 23, 1891, turning over the presidency to the Vice President Floriano Peixoto.
Floriano Peixoto was a Brazilian soldier and politician who was nicknamed “Iron Marshal.” Floriano obtained his nickname when he led Brazil to Paraguayan War where he dealt ruthlessly with his position. He was first elected vice-president on February 25, 1891, and rose to Presidency upon the resignation of Fonseca on November 23, 1891. His tenure was marked by political and economic crisis due to the effects of the bursting of the Encilhamento economic bubble. He centralized power and nationalism and defeated seditious military movement in Rio de Grande do Sul. Floriano left the presidency on November 15, 1984.
Prudente de Morais
Prudente de Morais was the first civilian president and the first to be elected through a popular ballot under Brazil’s 1891 constitution. He is also the first president to serve his full term from November 15, 1894, to November 15, 1898. He was the Governor of Sao Paulo and the president of the Senate before becoming a president. His presidency was marked by a break in diplomatic relations with Portugal and War of Canudos. He signed a peace treaty with rebels that ended the conflict in Rio de Grande do Sul. He also managed to consolidate the country’s debt through the help of the British bankers. His diligence in dealing with Argentina to resolve the boundary dispute drew admiration from Grover Cleveland, the US President.
The incumbent president, Michel Temer, took office on August 31, 2016, after the impeachment of President Dilma Vana Rousseff by the Senate on the same day. Temer, who was Dilma’s vice, is expected to serve out the remainder of her predecessor’s term until January 1, 2019. He becomes the 37th president of Brazil.