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Fernando Henrique Cardoso


President Lula da Silva (left) with outgoing President Cardoso (right).

Fernando Henrique Cardoso (b. 1931) was the president of the Federative Republic of Brazil from January of 1995 to December, 2002.

Born in Rio de Janeiro, he has lived in Sao Paulo most of his life. Cardoso is married (wife Ruth Cardoso[?]) and has 3 children.

Fernando Henrique Cardoso won his second presidential election with approximately 53% of the vote, while his closest challenger, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva (PT), had about 32%.

Cardoso was succeeded in 2003 by Lula da Silva. In his third run for the presidency in 2003, da Silva won in a historic landslide against Cardoso's handpicked candidate José Serra. Da Silva's election has been seen as a sign of Cardoso's growing unpopularity in his second term.

FHC (as he was sometimes called) was elected with the support of a heterodox alliance of his own center-left Social Democratic Party, the PSDB, and two center-right parties, the Liberal Front Party (PFL) and the Brazilian Labor Party (PTB). Brazil's largest party, the centrist Brazilian Democratic Movement Party (PMDB), joined Cardoso's governing coalition after the election, as did the center-right PPB, the Brazilian Progressive Party, in 1996. Party loyalty is weak, and deputies and senators who belong to the parties comprising the government coalition do not always vote with the government. As a result, President Cardoso has had difficulty, at times, gaining sufficient support for some of his legislative priorities, despite the fact that his coalition parties hold an overwhelming majority of congressional seats. Nevertheless, the Cardoso administration has accomplished many of its legislative and reform objectives.

Before, he was elected Senator of the state of Sao Paulo for the former MDB, Movimento Democrático Brasileiro (Brazilian Democratic Movement), in 1978. Re-elected in 1986 for the PMDB (Brazilian Democratic Movement Party), which substituted MDB after brazilian re-democratization.

Founder of the PSDB (Party of the Brazilian Social Democracy), in 1988, lead this party in the Senate until october, 1992.

Minister of Foreign Affairs, from october, 1992, until may, 1993, and of the Finance, from may of 1993 until march of 1994.

Sociologist, Cardoso is Professor of Political Science and Sociology at Universidade de São Paulo (University of Sao Paulo).

He was, also, Associated Director of Studies in the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (Social Sciences High Studies School), in Paris. Visitor professor in the Collège de France and in the Paris-Nanterre University. He also thought in universities like Stanford and Berkeley.

President of the International Socilogy Association (ISA), from 1982 to 1986.

Member of the Institute for Advanced Study (Princeton).

Honorary Foreign Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Author of many books, some of them known internationally.



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