The President of Brazil is the head of government, head of state, commander-in-chief, and head of the executive branch of government in Brazil. The office of the president was established in 1889 after the military overthrew Emperor Pedro II. The country’s constitution and constitutional amendments establish the requirements, responsibilities, and powers of the president, as well as the method of selection and term of office. Current laws require a presidential candidate to be at least 35 years and a native citizen of Brazil. The president is voted into office by popular majority and must garner at least 50% of the votes to be declared the winner in the first round. If none of the presidential candidates reach this threshold, the top two are subjected to a runoff vote. Each presidential term has a duration of four years, and a president can be re-elected for a single consecutive term. However, a former president is eligible to run again after at least one term elapses. After the president is sworn in, he or she moves to the official presidential palace in the nation's capital, Brasilia.
Official Presidential Residence
The official residence of the President of Brazil is the Palácio da Alvorada. Located on a peninsula along the shore of Paraná Lake, within the nation's capital city, Brasilia, construction of the building began on April 3, 1957 and was completed on June 30, 1958. Juscelino Kubitschek was the first president to occupy the residence, and it has been occupied by every Brazilian president since. The building was designed in a modernist style by Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer and is now designated as a National Historic Heritage Site of Brazil.
History of the Palácio da Alvorada
The Palácio da Alvorada was the first government building to be constructed in the newly established capital of Brasilia. Originally designed by architect Oscar Niemeyer based on principles of modernity and simplicity, the building underwent a massive renovation and restoration process in 2004 at a cost of about $18.5 million. Rooms, decor, and furniture were all restored to their original style, while electronic equipment including air conditioners were replaced. The cost of the restoration was not paid for by the government, but by the National Institute of Historic and Artistic Heritage using funds donated by private corporations.
The building has a total area of about 75,000 sq ft distributed across three floors: a basement, landing, and second floor. A heliport and chapel are also located within the palace grounds. The basement contains the kitchen, game room, movie theatre, medical center, administration, and laundry rooms. The ground floor features state rooms used for official presidential receptions, a waiting room, library, noble room, mezzanine, music room, and banquet room. The second floor houses the residential part of the building. The president’s apartment consists of four suites, guest apartments, and several private rooms. About 160 employees work to keep the presidential residence in operation. Staff include doctors, cooks, waiters, secretaries, assistants, and security personnel.