The Chief Justice of the Brazilian Superior Electoral Court, Justice Dias Toffoli, confirmed Brazil's interest in joining the Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA International) during his opening remarks at the International Conference on Campaign Financing and Democracy (held on 11 and 12 June at the TSE). IDEA International is an intergovernmental organization dedicated to promoting democracy on a global scale. On instructions from the Itamaraty (the Brazilian Ministry of Foreign Relations), the Brazilian Embassy in Stockholm formalized the country's interest in joining the Institute with the Secretary General of IDEA, Yves Leterme, on May 21 last. Secretary-General Leterme is visiting Brazil to attend the Conference and strengthen ties between IDEA International and Brazil.
The largest democracy in Latin America, Brazil has a population of 202 million. In the general elections of 2014, approximately 113 million voters went to the polls, representing an attendance rate above 98% of the electorate. An intense debate recently emerged in Brazil around campaign and political party financing; it revealed the country's prominent position on the global discussion on funding models to ensure the democratic principle of "one-man-one-vote”.
One of the first countries to adopt electronic voting (in 1996), Brazil has demonstrated how a gradual process of change is important to ensure voter confidence in the technology, and has been sharing its experience with electronic voting machines and the organization of elections with other countries. The country is also interested in providing support to the international promotion of sustainable democracies. As the largest country in Latin America, Brazil plays a crucial political role in the region (as well as globally).
In October 2014, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the Superior Electoral Court and IDEA International defining a framework for cooperation between the two institutions in electoral matters. The TSE will organize the VII Ibero-American Conference on Electoral Justice in Brazil in 2016, in partnership with IDEA International.
The Superior Electoral Court arranged for the publication in Portuguese of the IDEA Institute's "Funding of Political Parties and Election Campaigns: A Handbook", with support from the Brazilian Bar Association and the Getúlio Vargas Foundation. Brazil's membership of IDEA will contribute to project the Institute in the BRICS countries and the Portuguese-speaking community around the world.