Brazil Table of Contents
A center-left group of the PMDB (Brazilian Democratic Movement Party) organized the Brazilian Social Democracy Party (Partido da Social Democracia Brasileira--PSDB) in June 1988. Many of these PMDB members were associated with the Progressive Unity Movement (Movimento de Unidade Progressista--MUP). They had become discontented with the rainbow party, with the PMDB's participation in the conservative Big Center during the National Constituent Assembly, and especially with the politics of President Sarney. The principal leaders of the new party were from São Paulo, including Senator Cardoso (PMDB floor leader in the Senate).
The PSDB adopted a modernizing, social-democratic program and favored a parliamentary system of government. In 1988 it became the third largest delegation in Congress, although it elected only eighteen mayors that year (including Belo Horizonte).
The PSDB occupied three ministries in the Franco cabinet, including Senator Cardoso at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In May 1993, Cardoso moved to the Ministry of Finance, where he launched the Real Plan for economic stabilization in March 1994. With other major parties already engaged in different presidential alliances, the PSDB opted for a coalition with the more conservative PFL and PTB in the 1994 elections. The adoption of the new Real currency and the resulting near-zero inflation greatly boosted Cardoso's presidential candidacy in July and August and guaranteed his first-round victory with a margin of 54.3 percent on October 3. The PSDB also elected six governors (including Ceará, Minas Gerais, São Paulo, and Rio de Janeiro), nine senators, and sixty-two deputies, a much better performance than in 1990 (see General Elections, 1994, this ch). The Social Democrats occupied six ministries, including the powerful ministries of Planning, Finance, and Civil Household of the Presidency, in the Cardoso government.
The Progressive Party (Partido Progressista--PP) grew out of the PTR (Workers' Renewal Party). In 1990 the PTR and the Social Workers' Party (Partido Social Trabalhista--PST) had elected just two federal deputies each. The new Progressive Party had thirty-seven deputies in 1993, and by 1994 had grown to forty-five, the fifth largest delegation in the Chamber of Deputies. In 1995 the Progressive Party became leaderless, with no clear political strategy. Thus, it merged with the PPR (Progressive Renewal Party) to form the PPB (Brazilian Progressive Party).
Data as of April 1997