Democratic Labour Party (Brazil)

Democratic Labour Party (Brazil)
Democratic Labour Party
Partido Democrático Trabalhista
President Carlos Eduardo Vieira da Cunha
Founded June 17, 1979 (1979-06-17)
Headquarters Rua Sete de Setembro, 141, 4º andar , Centro, Rio de Janeiro
Ideology Social democracy
Democratic Socialism
Labour Movement
Political position Left-wing
International affiliation Socialist International
Official colours Red, White, Blue
TSE Identification Number 12
Seats in the Chamber of Deputies
28 / 513
Seats in the Senate
4 / 81
Politics of Brazil
Political parties

The Democratic Labour Party (Portuguese: Partido Democrático Trabalhista, PDT) is a populist, democratic socialist political party of Brazil. It was founded in 1979 by left-wing leader Leonel Brizola as an attempt to reorganize the Brazilian leftist forces during the end of the Brazilian military dictatorship. It joined the Socialist International in 1986.

The party is organized in state and municipal directories and also in cooperational social movements, such as the Black Movement, the Labour Woman Association, the Labour Syndicate Union, the Socialist Youth and the Green Labour Movement. Its national directory is composed of over 250 members, while its national executive is composed of 21 members.

The cooperational social movements have their own statutes and nation-wide organization.

The Socialist Youth, founded in 1981, was originally called Labour Youth. Its name had been changed twice: in 1984, to Socialist Labour Youth, and then in 1985 to Socialist Youth. The intention was to support the group that defended the participation of the party in the Socialist International as well as the change of the party's name to Socialist Party. The latter never happened.

The best result of the party in a presidential election was reached by historical leader Leonel Brizola, with 17% of the votes in the first round of the 1989 presidential elections. However, Brizola lost to rival Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (Lula) by a margin of 0.5%, stopping him from facing the right-wing candidate, Fernando Collor de Mello, in the runoff.

In the legislative elections in October 2002, the party won 21 out of the 513 seats of the Chamber of Deputies and 5 out of the 81 seats of the Senate. Its candidate also won the gubernatorial election in Amapá. Afterwards, it went into opposition to the federal government led by Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.

In the local elections of October 2004, the party elected 300 mayors, 3252 city councilors, earning 5.5 million votes.

After the political crisis involving the government of Lula, PDT has received the affiliation of several left-wing leaders from the president's party, Workers' Party (PT), that disagree with the government policies, including the former Minister of Education, Cristovam Buarque. Cristovam faced president Lula at the first round of the 2006 National Elections, reaching 4th place (with 2.538.834 or 2.64% of the votes). At the legislative elections of October 1, 2006, the party experienced slight gains, winning 24 seats in the Chamber of Deputies. The PDT held onto the governorship of Amapá, and won a surprising victory in the gubernatorial election in Maranhão, which however was overturned due to electoral irregularities in 2009. At the 2010 elections, the PDT made gains in Parliament, winning 28 representatives, and it will have 4 Senate seats. It did not win any governorships, however, and only made it to one gubernatorial runoff, in Alagoas. The PDT was the first party of president Dilma Rousseff (currently in PT).

Important party leaders

  • Leonel Brizola (1922-2004) - The brother-in-law of President João Goulart, Brizola formed the Democratic Labour Party in 1979 in an attempt to reorganize the left-wing of the country after the last military sponsored President João Figueiredo brought an end to the political persecution of the left.
  • Darcy Ribeiro - An anthropologist, he is one of the founders of the University of Brasília.
  • Jackson Lago - Former mayor of São Luís and governor of Maranhão.

External links

Preceded by
11 - PP
Numbers of Brazilian Official Political Parties
12 - DLP (PDT)
Succeeded by
13 - WP (PT)

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