Brazil: constitutions in times of trouble

The 1988 Brazilian constitution was enacted in the aftermath of the military dictatorship that ruled Brazil until 1985. For the first time in the Republican history of Brazil, the illiterate were allowed to vote for the Constitutional Assembly. The document drafted was an outcry against the years of dictatorship, promising both democracy and social inclusion. Indeed, for its strong commitment to social rights, the 1988 Constitution came to be known as the “Constituição Cidadã” (Constitution of Citizens). After 99 amendments, the Brazilian constitution has celebrated its 30 years facing its most severe crisis. Against an unpopular government, a formal presidential system behaved as parliamentarian one. The impeachment of Rousseff invoked controversy and many have qualified it as an informal vote of no confidence. and the imprisonment of Lula da Silva has eroded the confidence of a considerable part of the population in the institutions brought to life by the 1988 Constitution