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Brazil & Southern Cone - June 2009 (ISSN 1741-4431)

Another political reform proposal bites the dust

In late May congress rejected yet another government effort to introduce a political reform project to the lower house, with smaller coalition parties rejecting a proposal jointly put forward by the ruling PT and its main coalition partner, the PMDB. This was at least the tenth time since the return to democracy in 1985 that a government has tried and failed to introduce political reform. Umpteen efforts have run up against a recalcitrant congress, with political parties stubbornly unwilling to alter the status quo, which sees small, local parties over-represented in parliament.   Even the Lula government, for all its popularity, and the backing of the largest political party, the PMDB, cannot convince its allies to alter the system.   Nothing more will be done now until 2011.

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