The president of the Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE), Justice Gilmar Mendes, will open the International Seminar on Electoral Systems on March 20 at 2:00 p.m. The event, promoted by TSE in partnership with the House of Representatives and with the support of the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA), will be divided into thematic panels, with renowned participants from Brazil and abroad, as well as moderators.
According to Gilmar Mendes, the event’s initiative meets the consensus on the necessity and urgency of reform of the Brazilian electoral political system. For him, "the wide-ranging debate about changes in the Brazilian electoral system is indispensable for proposing innovations on more serious issues, such as the campaign financing, and there is no way to dissociate the discussions about the issues".
The first day of debates will be held at the TSE headquarters in Brasilia. Beginning at 2:15 pm, the inaugural lecture will be given by IDEA Secretary General Yves Leterme.
The Minister of Transparency, Inspection and Controller-General of the Union, Torquato Jardim, will participate in the first thematic panel, at 2.30 pm, which will address aspects related to district, proportional or mixed votes in Brazil. Under the moderation of TSE, Justice Admar Gonzaga, Dr. Örjan Olsén, Senator Ronaldo Caiado, the Member of the State Council of France Yves Gounin, and United States Electoral Law Specialist Tova Wang will also take part in the debate.
For Minister Torquato Jardim, "It should not be forgotten that the Electoral Law is the only branch of law in which the drafters of the norm is the addressee of the norm. Consequently, the best system is the one that converts the majority, always transitory, of the National Congress".
In the second panel, at 3:30 p.m., the discussion will be on "Brazil: open, closed or mixed list". The former president of TSE and Justice of the Supreme Court (STF) Dias Toffoli, Federal Deputy Vicente Cândido, former Member of Parliament of Portugal Miguel Relvas, and Belgian professor Frédéric Bouhon will participate. Justice Luciana Lóssio of the TSE will be the moderator.
Under the theme "Brazil: a barrier clause and a coalition", TSE Justice Henrique Neves will moderate Panel 3 at 4:45 pm, with the participation of Senator Antônio Anastasia, Dutch professor Henk van der Kolk, Justice of the Mexican Electoral Court Luis Vargas Valdés, and member of the Council of State of France Yves Gounin.
Finally, panel 4, with the theme "Brazil: financial reflexes of electoral systems’ models", will be composed of professor Humberto Bergmann Ávila, director of the FAES Foundation, Javier Zarzalejos, and the president of the Mexico’s National Electoral Institute (INE), Lorenzo Córdova. The panel will be moderated by TSE Justice Tarcisio Vieira.
Finally, the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA) representative for Latin America and the Caribbean, Daniel Zovatto, will speak at the end of the first day of the seminar.
On March 21, the debates will begin at 8:30 am, at the Chamber of Deputies. The opening session will be attended by the president of the TSE, Justice Gilmar Mendes, and the president of the House, Deputy Rodrigo Maia.
At 8:40 a.m., Yves Leterme, of IDEA, will again deliver the keynote speech, then at 9 a.m. Panel 1 will begin with the theme " District, proportional or mixed vote". Member of the State Council of France Yves Gounin, American expert on Electoral Law Tova Wang, and Federal Deputy Marcus Pestana, under the moderation of Daniel Zovatto, of IDEA, will take part in this debate.
In the second panel, at 10:30 a.m., Belgian expert Fréréric Bouhon, the president of Mexico’s National Electoral Institute, Lorenzo Córdova, Federal Deputy Vicente Cândido and former Member of the Portuguese Parliament Miguel Relvas will discuss the theme "Closed list systems, open list or Mixed ". Justice Henrique Neves of the TSE will be the moderator.
At the end of the morning, at 12:00, Deputy Lúcio Vieira Lima will moderate Panel 3 on "Barrier clause and electoral coalitions". The meeting will include Federal Deputy Renata Abreu, Mexican magistrate José Luis Vargas, Dutch professor Henk van der Kolk and Spanish director of the FAES Foundation, Javier Zarzalejos.