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Brazilian Labour Party (1981)

Brazilian Labour Party
Partido Trabalhista Brasileiro
PresidentMarcus Vinícius Neskau[1]
Honorary PresidentRoberto Jefferson
FounderIvete Vargas
Founded21 November 1979 (1979-11-21)
Registered3 November 1981 (1981-11-03)
Dissolved9 November 2023 (2023-11-09)
Merger ofParty of the Nation's Retirees
Social Democratic Party
Preceded byBrazilian Labour Party
Merged intoDemocratic Renewal Party
HeadquartersSAS, Qd. 1, Bloco M, Ed. Libertas, Loja 101
Brasília, Brazil
Think tankFundação Ivete Vargas
Youth wingJuventude Trabalhista Cristã Conservadora
Juventude do PTB
Membership (November 2021)Decrease1,075,750[2]
IdeologySocial conservatism
Brazilian nationalism
Right-wing populism[3]
National conservatism

Christian right[4]
Catholic social teaching[5]
Brazilian Integralism[7]
Economic liberalism
Left-wing nationalism[8]
Political positionRight-wing to far-right[3]
Colours  White
Slogan"God, Family, Homeland and Freedom"
TSE Identification Number14

The Brazilian Labour Party (Portuguese: Partido Trabalhista Brasileiro, PTB) was a political party in Brazil registered in 1981 by Ivete Vargas, niece of President Getúlio Vargas. It claimed the legacy of the historical PTB, although many historians reject this because the early version of PTB was a center-left party with wide support in the working class.[10] It was the seventh largest political party in Brazil with more than a million affiliated as of 2022.[11]

Despite the name suggesting a left-leaning unionist labour party, the PTB was mainly a big tent centrist party for most of its history, considered part of the Centrão, a bloc of parties without consistent ideological orientation which supports different sides of the political spectrum in order to gain political privileges.[12] As such, they supported the presidency of Fernando Collor de Mello, Itamar Franco, and Fernando Henrique Cardoso — all considered center-right — as well as Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and the first term of Dilma Rousseff — who were leftist presidents.[13] Since the conservative wave in the 2010s, the party had shown strong support for the government of Jair Bolsonaro,[14] presenting policies from a more right-wing angle, in addition to affiliating federal deputy Daniel Silveira, known for making references to AI-5.[15]

After the 2022 Brazilian general elections, PTB failed to break through the electoral threshold, thus cutting access to party subsidies and free political advertisement. Thus, in November 2023, it merged with the party Patriota to form the Democratic Renewal Party.[16]


PTB's logo from 1981 to 2019

The original PTB was a center-left labourist party with strong support from trade unions founded in 1945 by former Brazilian president Getúlio Vargas, who formerly presided the country from 1930 to 1945. After Vargas suicide in 1954, PTB's main figures became Leonel Brizola and João Goulart, who was elected vice-president in 1960 — becoming president after the resignation of Jânio Quadros — until his deposition after the 1964 coup d'état. After that PTB, along with every other Brazilian party, was banned.[17]

In 1979, the military dictatorship that had dismantled the historical PTB decided to revoke its legislation which enforced a two-party state. Soon thereafter, the social-democratic wing of the original PTB, led by Leonel Brizola, attempted to recreate the party, but the military government instead awarded the name to a group led by Ivete Vargas, niece of Getúlio Vargas, who became the president of the party. Many of her group were politicians who did not follow PTB's historical labourist ideology, conservatives and even former oppositors of the party. Leonel Brizola instead led his faction to found the Democratic Labour Party (PDT). This all but ensured that the PTB would abandon leftist politics, ultimately embracing centrist or slightly right-leaning politics.[18][19]

At the legislative elections of October 6, 2002, the party won 26 out of 513 seats in the Chamber of Deputies and 3 out of 81 seats in the Senate.

In the 1989, a small dissident faction of moderate social democrats and populists abandoned the PTB and founded the Labour Party of Brazil (PTdoB), which was renamed to Avante in 2017.[20]

Before the 2010 presidential election, PTB participated in the coalition government of former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, and did not field presidential candidates. The party, however, did not support Lula's candidate to succeed him, Dilma Rousseff (herself a former historical PTB/PDT member), as it embarked on PSDB José Serra's failed campaign for president.[21]

Since 2018 with the rise of conservatism and Bolsonarism in Brazil (a phenomenon known as the 'conservative wave'), the party started a strong turn to right-wing politics, declaring itself an openly conservative party, supporting the government of Jair Bolsonaro and his positions.[19][22] Senator Armando Monteiro left the party in 2021, calling it a "Bolsonarist cult".[23]

In 2020, Jair Bolsonaro left his original party Social Liberal Party (PSL) and failed to form his own Alliance for Brazil, PTB was one of the parties that had extensive negotiations for affiliating him, which helped as Bolsonaro was previously a PTB member from 2003 to 2005, but the negotiations ended up failing.[14]

For the 2022 Brazilian general election, PTB initially chose Roberto Jefferson as their presidential candidate, but on 1 September 2022, the Superior Electoral Court denied Jefferson's candidacy as it ruled him ineligible for public office until 24 December 2023 due to a prior criminal conviction. After this ruling, the party nominated Padre Kelmon Souza for president, a self-proclaimed orthodox priest who is not part of the Brazilian Orthodox Churches, and Luiz Cláudio Gamonal — an evangelical pastor — for vice president.[24] Kelmon was accused of beginning an "auxiliary line" for Jair Bolsonaro, making a campaign for Bolsonaro and not himself, and at debates exclusively attacking Bolsonaro's opponents and praising his presidency.[25] When Jefferson previously had announced he would launch his candidacy, he announced that it would be to support the campaign of Jair Bolsonaro.[26]

After the 2022 general elections, PTB elected only one federal deputy, failing to break through the electoral threshold and thus cutting access to party subsidies and free advertisement on television. On October, the PTB assembly voted to merge with right-wing conservative party Patriota in order to form a party tentatively titled Mais Brasil ("More Brazil").[27] The merger was approved by the Superior Electoral Court on 9 November 2023 and the party is now called the Democratic Renewal Party.[28]

Notable members

Current members

Former members

Electoral history

Legislative elections

Election Chamber of Deputies Federal Senate Role in government
Votes % Seats +/– Votes % Seats +/–
1982 1,829,055 4.45%
13 / 479
New 1,909,452 4.53%
0 / 25
New Opposition
1986 2,110,467 4.46%
17 / 487
Increase 4 N/A N/A
0 / 49
Steady 0 Opposition
1990 2,277,882 5.62%
38 / 502
Increase 21 N/A N/A
4 / 31
Increase 4 Coalition
1994 2,379,773 5.21%
31 / 513
Decrease 7 4,015,701 4.19%
3 / 54
Decrease 1 Coalition
1998 3,768,260 5.66%
31 / 513
Steady 0 2,449,479 3.96%
1 / 81
Decrease 2 Coalition
2002 4,052,111 4.63%
26 / 513
Decrease 5 5,190,032 3.38%
3 / 81
Increase 2 Coalition
2006 4,397,743 4.72%
22 / 513
Decrease 4 2,676,469 3.17%
4 / 81
Increase 1 Coalition
2010 4,039,239 4.18%
21 / 513
Decrease 1 7,999,589 4,69%
6 / 81
Increase 2 Independent
2014 3,914,193 4.02%
25 / 513
Increase 4 2,803,999 3,14%
3 / 81
Decrease 3 Coalition
2018 2,022,719 2.06%
10 / 513
Decrease 15 1,899,838 1.11%
3 / 81
Steady 3 Coalition
2022 1,433,638 1.30%
1 / 513
Decrease 9 3,621,532 3.56%
0 / 81
Decrease 3 Opposition


  1. ^ "Partidos políticos registrados no TSE". Superior Electoral Court (in Portuguese). Archived from the original on 7 April 2023. Retrieved 12 September 2023.
  2. ^ "Estatísticas do eleitorado – Eleitores filiados". Archived from the original on 2014-07-11. Retrieved 2021-12-29.
  3. ^ a b "De partido sem ideologia a sigla dos "leões conservadores": Como o PTB quer atrair Bolsonaro".
  5. ^ "Uma análise da Rerum Novarum e suas influências no Direito do Trabalho".
  6. ^ "Partidos vão investir em influenciadores, ex-BBBs e policiais como 'puxadores de voto'".
  7. ^ "PTB bolsonarista filia integralistas e ruma à extrema-direita".
  8. ^ a b Alvim, Mariana (31 January 2018). "De Getúlio Vargas a Cristiane Brasil, como o PTB passou do trabalhismo histórico aos ataques à Justiça do Trabalho". BBC News Brasil (in Portuguese). Retrieved 20 July 2022.
  9. ^ Derbyshire, J. Denis; Derbyshire, Ian (1989). Political Systems Of The World. Allied Publishers. p. 114. ISBN 9788170233077. Retrieved 28 April 2020.
  10. ^ "Election Resources on the Internet: Federal Elections in Brazil". Retrieved December 8, 2014.
  11. ^ "Estatísticas do eleitorado – Eleitores filiados". Archived from the original on 2014-07-11. Retrieved 2021-12-29.
  12. ^ "O que quer o chamado centrão em sua investida eleitoral". Nexo Jornal (in Brazilian Portuguese). Retrieved 2022-10-08.
  13. ^ efe. "PTB e PDT anunciam saída de base de apoio do governo Dilma". Terra (in Brazilian Portuguese). Retrieved 2022-10-08.
  14. ^ a b "De partido sem ideologia a sigla dos "leões conservadores": como o PTB quer atrair Bolsonaro". Gazeta do Povo (in Brazilian Portuguese). Archived from the original on 2020-07-21. Retrieved 2021-02-27.
  15. ^ "Roberto Jefferson diz que Daniel Silveira se filiou ao PTB". ISTOÉ Independente (in Brazilian Portuguese). 2021-02-25. Retrieved 2021-02-27.
  16. ^ "TSE aprova criação do Partido Renovação Democrática (PRD)". Tribunal Superior Eleitoral (in Brazilian Portuguese). 2023-11-09. Retrieved 2023-11-10.
  17. ^ Ligia, Ana. "História do Partido Trabalhista Brasileiro (PTB)".
  18. ^ Brasil, CPDOC-Centro de Pesquisa e Documentação História Contemporânea do. "PARTIDO TRABALHISTA BRASILEIRO, PTB (1980- )". CPDOC - Centro de Pesquisa e Documentação de História Contemporânea do Brasil (in Brazilian Portuguese). Retrieved 2022-10-08.
  19. ^ a b "De Getúlio Vargas a Cristiane Brasil, como o PTB passou do trabalhismo histórico aos ataques à Justiça do Trabalho". BBC News Brasil (in Brazilian Portuguese). Retrieved 2022-10-25.
  20. ^ joaogado (2021-01-18). "Partidos em Números: PTB e Avante". Pindograma. Retrieved 2022-10-08.
  21. ^ "Brazil Elections Result". Retrieved December 8, 2014.
  22. ^ null. "Sem Bolsonaro e após briga interna, PTB tenta se reerguer para ser referência conservadora". Gazeta do Povo (in Brazilian Portuguese). Retrieved 2022-10-25.
  23. ^ ""Parecia uma seita", diz Armando Monteiro ao trocar o PTB pelo PSDB". Congresso em Foco (in Brazilian Portuguese). 2021-03-06. Retrieved 2022-11-27.
  24. ^ "PTB escolhe "padre" e pastor para chapa à presidência". Poder360 (in Brazilian Portuguese). September 2022. Retrieved 2022-10-08.
  25. ^ "Padre Kelmon nega ser laranja de Bolsonaro". Estadão (in Brazilian Portuguese). Retrieved 2022-10-24.
  26. ^ Agora, Redação Ceará; Oliveira, Luzenor de (2022-08-01). "PTB lança candidatura de Roberto Jefferson à Presidência da República". Ceará Agora • As Notícias Mais Importantes de Fortaleza, Ceará, Brasil (in Brazilian Portuguese). Retrieved 2022-10-24.
  27. ^ "Partidos PTB e Patriota anunciam fusão; nova sigla deve se chamar Mais Brasil". G1 (in Brazilian Portuguese). 26 October 2022. Retrieved 2022-11-03.
  28. ^ "TSE aprova criação do Partido Renovação Democrática (PRD)". Tribunal Superior Eleitoral (in Brazilian Portuguese). 2023-11-09. Retrieved 2023-11-10.
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Brazilian Labour Party (1981)
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