Opinion

Tabata Amaral and the weakening of Brazilian political parties

Congresswoman Amaral was granted the right to leave her party without losing her term. The court decision opens a dangerous precedent for Brazilian democracy, as political parties become less and less powerful

parties Tabata Amaral broke with party lines on the pension reform vote. Photo: Fabio Rodrigues Pozzebom/ABr
Tabata Amaral broke party ranks on the pension reform vote. Photo: Fabio Rodrigues Pozzebom/ABr

Last week, Brazil’s Supreme Electoral Court ruled that congresswoman Tabata Amaral could leave the Democratic Labor Party (PDT) without losing her office in the House of Representatives. Two years ago, the PDT punished Ms. Amaral for voting against the party on a sweeping pension reform bill. She claimed the sanctions were unfair, thus believing she had the right to change parties without being penalized.

Now, Ms. Amaral has gotten her way. 

However, the court’s decision could have detrimental effects on the strength of Brazilian political parties in both the congressional and electoral spheres. 

The PDT v. Tabata Amaral

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