A deep dive into Brazil’s fragmented party system

Making sense of the alphabet soup of party names and abbreviations in Brazil is a difficult task. But once organized according to various criteria, a clearer picture of the party landscape emerges

military A deep dive into Brazil's fragmented party system
Brazilian Congress building. Photo: R.M. Nunes/Shutterstock

Brazil has a huge number of political parties, which make up a highly fragmented political system. Getting a handle on who is who can be a tricky task. Here we present certain patterns and tendencies, categorizing the parties according to the demographics of party memberships, party financing, recent performance, and histories.

All parties were not created equal — the oldest and biggest parties have the most nationwide reach and play an outside role in political proceedings today.

Party membership

Party membership is the simplest measure by which to gauge the size of a party. It indicates how many voters are strongly...

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