By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter
SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL – Brazil’s newly elected Chamber of Deputies and Senate representatives were sworn in and the speakers for the two Congressional Houses were chosen on Sunday, February 1st. The election in the Lower House caused some discomfort for President Dilma Rousseff’s administration as the government’s candidate was not selected.
“This House has reacted to the government’s attempt to interfere with this [legislative] vote,” said Federal Representative Eduardo Cunha, from the PMDB (Brazilian Democratic Movement Party), after being elected with 267 of the 513 votes in the Chamber of Deputies. Cunha defeated President Rousseff’s PT (Workers’ Party) candidate Representative Arlindo Chinaglia.
In his first speech as speaker, Cunha said that he would work with the executive branch to push through important legislation for the nation.
“This presidency will not hinder the governance [of the administration]. We will ensure governance but that does not mean we will be submissive,” he said in his victory speech to a packed Congressional session. “We have to start to work, without retaliations. Everyone is here to work.”
Cunha will lead the Chamber for the next two years.
In the upper house Senator Renan Calheiros, also from the PMDB party, secured his re-election as speaker of the Senate for another two years. This is the fourth time Calheiros has been elected speaker of the Senate. In his acceptance speech, Calheiros thanked his party and stated that he would personally work to approve a political reform now being discussed in Congress.
In addition to the swearing in of all 513 federal representatives in the Chamber of Deputies, 27 delegates elected in October of 2014 were also sworn in at the Senate.