STOCKHOLM – The President of the Superior Electoral Court, Minister Dias Toffoli, confirmed Brazil´s interest in joining International IDEA at the opening of theInternational Seminar on Electoral Financing and Democracy, taking place in Brasilia on 11-12 June. International IDEA is the sole intergovernmental organization that supports sustainable democracy worldwide. Upon instructions from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Embassy of Brazil in Stockholm formally conveyed on May 21st Brazil´s interest to International IDEA´s Secretary-General, Mr. Yves Leterme. The Secretary-General is in Brasilia 11-14 June to strengthen ties between Brazil and International IDEA and to attend the International Seminar.
Brazil is the biggest democracy in Latin America, with a population of over 202 million citizens. In 2014, general elections were held, with a voter turnout of more than 80 percent, which is an equivalent of 113 million registered votes. Brazil has recently had a vibrant debate around the reform of political and campaign finance, which shows that this country is leading a global discussion on finding a political finance model that guarantees the democratic principle of one-man-one-vote.
As one of the first countries to introduce electronic voting back in 1996, Brazil has shown how important gradual implementation is for building trust in this technology. It has shared its experience in electronic voting and organizing elections with other countries. Brazil is also interested to promote and support sustainable democracy. As the largest democracy in Latin America, Brazil plays a crucial political role in Latin America and around the world.
In October 2014, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the Superior Electoral Tribunal of Brazil and International IDEA. This established a general framework for cooperation between both institutions with respect to electoral affairs. The Tribunal will host the VII Ibero-American Conference on Electoral Justice in 2016, jointly with International IDEA. The Conference will discuss issues related to electoral justice.
The Tribunal also facilitated the translation of International IDEA's Handbook on Political Finance into Portuguese, with the support of the Fundação Getulio Vargas and Brazil's Bar Association. Brazil's membership will be an important leverage to reach out to the BRICs countries and to the Lusophone community worldwide.