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Cámara dos Deputados (Chamber of Deputies)

This page contains the full text of the PARLINE database entry on the selected parliamentary chamber, with the exception of Oversight and Specialized bodies modules which, because of their excessive length, can be only viewed and printed separately.


Parliament name (generic / translated) Congresso nacional / National Congress
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Structure of parliament Bicameral
Chamber name (generic / translated) Cámara dos Deputados / Chamber of Deputies
Related chamber (for bicameral parliaments) Senado Federal / Federal Senate
Affiliation to the IPU Yes
Affiliation date(s) 1954 -
President Rodrigo Felinto Ibarra Epitacio Maia (M) 
Notes Elected on 13 July 2016, re-elected on 2 Feb. 2017.
Secretary General Lucio Henrique Xavier Lopes (M) 
Wagner Soares Padilha (M) 
Notes Mr. Wagner Soares Padilha: Secretary General of the Governing Board
Mr. Lucio Henrique Xavier Lopes: Director General, appointed on 3 August 2016.
Members (statutory / current number) 513 / 513

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Women (current number) 55 (10.72%)
Mode of designation directly elected 513
Term 4 years
Last renewal dates 5 October 2014
(View details)
Address Câmara dos Deputados
Palácio do Congresso nacional
Praça dos 3 Poderes
70 160-900 BRASILIA, D.F.
(Export mailing lists)
Phone (5561) 3215 8060 (International Relations Secretariat)
3216-2000 (General Director)
Fax (5561) 3216 1008 (Secretary Geral of the Governing Board)
E-mail internacional@camara.leg.br


Parliament name (generic / translated) Congresso nacional / National Congress
Structure of parliament Bicameral
Chamber name (generic / translated) Cámara dos Deputados / Chamber of Deputies
Related chamber (for bicameral parliaments) Senado Federal / Federal Senate
Electoral law 15 July 1965
Last amendment: 19/09/1995
Mode of designation directly elected 513
Constituencies 27 multi-member (8 to 70 seats, based on population) constituencies corresponding to the country's 26 states and the Federal District.
Voting system Proportional: Party-list proportional system with seats allotted according to the simple quotient and highest average calculations. The seats won by each list are in turn awarded to the candidates on the basis of preferential votes cast by the electorate.
Vacancies arising between general elections are filled by substitutes elected at the same time as titular members. If no substitute is available and there remain at least 15 months before the end of the term of the member concerned, by-elections are held.
Voting is compulsory, abstention being punishable by a fine.
Voter requirements - age: 16 years (optional); 18 years (mandatory registration)
- Brazilian citizenship
- disqualifications: insanity, imprisonment, lack of full political rights, military personnel below the rank of sergeant
Eligibility - qualified electors
- age: 21 years
- Brazilian citizenship by birth
- full possession of political rights
- membership of recognized political party
- residence in the constituency where running
- ineligibility: illiteracy
Incompatibilities - certain high public and military positions
- certain posts in public or semi-public companies
Candidacy requirements (data unavailable)


Parliament name (generic / translated) Congresso nacional / National Congress
Structure of parliament Bicameral
Chamber name (generic / translated) Cámara dos Deputados / Chamber of Deputies
Related chamber (for bicameral parliaments) Senado Federal / Federal Senate
Dates of election / renewal (from/to) 5 October 2014
Timing and scope of renewal A coalition supporting President Dilma Rousseff of the Workers' Party (PT, see note 1) retained a majority in both chambers of Congress. It took 304 seats in the 543-member Chamber of Deputies and controlled 58 seats following the partial renewal of the 81-member Senate. An opposition coalition supporting the presidential bid of Senator Aecio Neves of the Brazilian Social Democratic Party (PSDB, see note 2) took a total of 128 seats in the Chamber and held 20 seats in the Senate. Ms. Rousseff won the run-off presidential elections held on 26 October, narrowly defeating Senator Neves. The latter was backed by Ms. Marina Silva of the Brazilian Socialist Party (PSB), who came third in the first round of the presidential elections.

President Rousseff's PT - in power since 2003 - ran on the government's record, citing its success in reducing unemployment. It promised to expand the social welfare programme, in particular the Bolsa Familia, the family allowance for low-income families that covers about one-fifth of the population. The PSDB also promised to maintain the Bolsa Familia, while promoting business-friendly policies and a smaller role for the State in the economy. It proposed to reduce the minimum age at which minors can be tried as adults for serious crimes from 18 to 16 years old. The PSB opposed this plan, and promised better protection for indigenous communities.

Note 1:
The winning coalition comprised the Workers' Party (PT), the Brazilian Democratic Movement Party (PMDB), the Social Democratic Party (PSD), the Progressive Party (PP), the Party of the Republic (PR), the Brazilian Republican Party (PRB), the Democratic Labour Party (PDT) and the Republican Party of the Social Order (PROS).

Note 2:
The opposition coalition comprised the Brazilian Social Democratic Party (PSDB), the Brazilian Labour Party (PTB), the Democrats (DEM), the Solidality (SD), National Labour Party (PTN), the National Mobilization Party (PMN), the National Ecologic Party (PEN), the Christian Labour Party (PTC) and Labour Party of Brazil (PT do B).
Date of previous elections: 2 October 2010

Timing of election: Upon normal expiry

Expected date of next elections: October 2018

Number of seats at stake: 513 (full renewal)

Number of candidates: 5,867

Percentage of women candidates: Not available.

Number of parties contesting the election: 32

Number of parties winning seats: 28

Alternation of power: No

Number of parties in government: 13

Names of parties in government: Workers' Party (PT), Brazilian Democratic Movement Party (PMDB), Democratic Labour Party (PDT), Brazilian Labour Party (PTB), Progressive Party (PP), Party of the Republic (PR), Communist Party of Brazil (PC do B), Social Democratic Party (PSD), Brazilian Republican Party (PRB), Republican Party of the Social Order (PROS), Labour Party of Brazil (PT do B), Progressive Republican Party (PRP) and National Mobilization Party (PMN).

Date of the first session of the new parliament: 1 February 2015

Name of the new Speaker: Mr. Eduardo Cosentino da Cunha (Brazilian Democratic Movement Party, PMDB)
Voter turnout
Round no 15 October 2014
Number of registered electors
Blank or invalid ballot papers
Valid votes
113'232'072 (80.6%)

Distribution of votes
Round no 1
Political group Candidates Votes % of votes
Workers' Party (PT)
Brazilian Democratic Movement Party (PMDB)
Brazilian Social Democratic Party (PSDB)
Social Democratic Party (PSD)
Progressive Party (PP)
Brazilian Socialist Party (PSB)
Party of the Republic (PR)
Brazilian Labour Party (PTB)
Democrats (DEM)
Brazilian Republican Party (PRB)
Democratic Labour Party (PDT)
Solidality (SD)
Social Christian Party (PSC)
Republican Party of the Social Order (PROS)
Popular Socialist Party (PPS)
Communist Party of Brazil (PC do B)
Green Party (PV)
Socialism and Liberty Party (PSOL)
Humanist Party of Solidarity (PHS)
National Labour Party (PTN)
Progressive Republican Party (PRP)
National Mobilization Party (PMN)
National Ecologic Party (PEN)
Christian Social Democratic Party (PSDC)
Christian Labour Party (PTC)
Social Liberal Party (PSL)
Labour Party of Brazil (PT do B)
Renewed Brazilian Labour Party (PRTB)
Distribution of seats
Round no 1
Political Group Total of seats
Workers' Party (PT) 70
Brazilian Democratic Movement Party (PMDB) 66
Brazilian Social Democratic Party (PSDB) 54
Social Democratic Party (PSD) 37
Progressive Party (PP) 36
Brazilian Socialist Party (PSB) 34
Party of the Republic (PR) 34
Brazilian Labour Party (PTB) 25
Democrats (DEM) 22
Brazilian Republican Party (PRB) 21
Democratic Labour Party (PDT) 19
Solidality (SD) 15
Social Christian Party (PSC) 12
Republican Party of the Social Order (PROS) 11
Popular Socialist Party (PPS) 10
Communist Party of Brazil (PC do B) 10
Green Party (PV) 8
Socialism and Liberty Party (PSOL) 5
Humanist Party of Solidarity (PHS) 5
National Labour Party (PTN) 4
Progressive Republican Party (PRP) 3
National Mobilization Party (PMN) 3
National Ecologic Party (PEN) 2
Christian Social Democratic Party (PSDC) 2
Christian Labour Party (PTC) 2
Social Liberal Party (PSL) 1
Labour Party of Brazil (PT do B) 1
Renewed Brazilian Labour Party (PRTB) 1
Distribution of seats according to sex


Percent of women


Distribution of seats according to age
Distribution of seats according to profession
IPU Group (30.10.2014, 10.12.2014, 01.01.2015, 04.02.2015, 01.01.2017)


Parliament name (generic / translated) Congresso nacional / National Congress
Structure of parliament Bicameral
Chamber name (generic / translated) Cámara dos Deputados / Chamber of Deputies
Related chamber (for bicameral parliaments) Senado Federal / Federal Senate
Title President of the Chamber of Deputies
Term - duration: 2 years (half-term of House)
- expires on 31 January
- reasons for interruption of the term: resignation, loss of mandate, death, dissolution of Parliament
Appointment - elected by all Deputies
- after validation of mandates and swearing-in
Eligibility - any Deputy who is formally a candidate may be elected
- notification of candidature 24 hours before the opening of the session
Voting system - formal vote by secret ballot with an absolute majority, in 1 or 2 rounds
- certain candidatures must be withdrawn depending on the results of the second round
Procedures / results - the outgoing President (or the oldest parliamentarian, in case of vacancy) presides over the Chamber during the voting
- specially appointed parliamentarians supervise the voting
- the outgoing President announces the results without delay
- the results may be challenged
Status - ranks third in the hierarchy of State, before the President of the Senate - is No. 2 in the list of personalities acting as interim Head of State
- joint sittings of both Chambers are presided over by the President of the Senate
- represents the Chamber with the public authorities and is ex officio member of bodies outside Parliament
- represents the Chamber in international bodies
- in the absence of the President, the First Vice-President can assume his/her role and functions
Board - the Governing Board, the General Secretariat and the General Management assist the President and are regulated by the Standing Orders of the House
- the Board consists of 7 titular MP and 4 substitute Members who serve 2-year terms - the Secretariat and the Management are composed of 1 titular Member each who serves for an indefinite length of time
- the Board meets at least once a fortnight
Material facilities - fixed allowance of Cr$ 3000
+ special allowance of Cr$ 5000 (varies depending on frequency)
- official residence
- official car
- secretariat
- domestic personnel
- bodyguards
Organization of parliamentary business - convenes sessions
- establishes and modifies the agenda
- organizes the debates and sets speaking time
- examines the admissibility of bills and amendments
- refers texts to a committee for study
- examines the admissibility of requests for setting up committees and/or committees of enquiry, proposes or decides on the setting-up of such committees
Chairing of public sittings - can open, adjourn and close sittings
- ensures respect for provisions of the Constitution and Standing Orders
- takes disciplinary measures in the event of disturbance, and lifts such measures according to the provisions of the Standing Orders
- establishes the list of speakers, gives and withdraws permission to speak
- establishes the order in which amendments are taken up and selects which amendments are to be debated
- calls for a vote, decides how it is to be carried out, verifies the voting procedure and cancels a vote in the event of irregularities

- checks the quorum
- authenticates the texts adopted and the records of debates
- interprets the rules or other regulations governing the life of the Chamber
- has discretionary power to give the floor outside the agenda and thus organizes impromptu debates
Special powers - presides over the Board which approves the proposed budget, prepared by the General Management
- approvals proposals for the recruitment, assignment and promotion of staff and appoints the latter
- plays a specific role in overseeing foreign affairs and defence
- is responsible for relations with foreign Parliaments
- is responsible for safety, and in this capacity, can call the police in the event of disturbance in the Chamber
Speaking and voting rights, other functions - takes the floor in legislative debates, by leaving his seat
- only takes part in voting in case of a tied vote by secret ballot
- intervenes in the parliamentary oversight procedure

This page was last updated on 28 February 2018
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