Socialism and Liberty Party

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Socialism and Liberty Party
Partido Socialismo e Liberdade
President Juliano Medeiros
Founded 6 June 2004
Headquarters SDS, Edificio Venâncio V, Loja 28
Membership (2018) 147,096 [1]
Ideology Democratic socialism
Socialism of the 21st century
Political position Left-wing[2] to far-left[3]
International affiliation Different groups in PSOL have different international affiliations.
Colours Red, Yellow
TSE Identification Number 50
Seats in the Chamber of Deputies
6 / 513
Seats in the Federal Senate
0 / 81
0 / 27
Seats in the Legislative Assemblies of the States
13 / 1,049
2 / 5,570
Seats in City Councils
53 / 56,810

The Socialism and Liberty Party (Portuguese: Partido Socialismo e Liberdade IPA: [paʁˈtʃidu sosjɐˈlizmw i libeʁˈdadʒi], (PSOL) IPA: [peˈsɔw]) is a Brazilian political party with 147,096 active members. PSOL is a left-wing party which is self-described as a socialist and democratic party.

The party leader is Luiz Araújo and the federal deputies Ivan Valente (pt), Chico Alencar, Jean Wyllys, Edmilson Rodrigues, Glauber Braga (pt) and Luiza Erundina, with a number of well-known Brazilian left-wing leaders and intellectuals, such as Milton Temer, Michael Löwy, Luciana Genro, Vladimir Safatle, Marcelo Freixo, Renato Roseno, Carlos Nelson Coutinho, Ricardo Antunes, Francisco de Oliveira, João Machado, Pedro Ruas and others.

PSOL was formed after Heloísa Helena, Luciana Genro, Babá and João Fontes (also a federal deputy, now a member of the Democratic Labour Party, PDT) were expelled from the Workers' Party after voting against the pension reform proposed by Lula. They opposed liberal decisions of Lula's government and the Workers' Party alliances with polemic right-wing politicians, such as the former presidents José Sarney and Fernando Collor.

After collecting more than 438,000 signatures, PSOL became Brazil's 29th officially recognized political party, the first to do so by this method. PSOL claimed to be the left-wing opposition to the government led by the Workers' Party.

Ideology and voter base

PSOL defends a democratic socialism in which capitalism should be overthrown for its role in harming the environment, creating wars, and exacerbating social inequality. The party considers production in a capitalist society to be selfish and destructive, aiming solely at profit and thus threatening every form of life on earth.

PSOL supports workers' unions and their rights. It believes abortion should be legal under all circumstances and proposes the legalization of marijuana.

Despite being a left-wing party in economic and social issues, PSOL electorate and base is less working-class and low-income but more a socially liberal middle and upper-middle class, academic, intellectual, members of progressive NGOs, social movements and artistic class, mainly in the city of Rio de Janeiro, which the party gets most of its support base and representatives. PSOL is strongly rejected by the evangelicals, which are strongly socially conservative.

The party is strong criticized by both right and left-wingers because of its strong socially progressive stances on issues such as abortion, secularism, gender identity, crime, anti-racism, feminism, ecology, marijuana legalization and LGBT rights. Right-wingers often accuse the party of to being too extreme, hard left and hostile to dialogue, while simultaneously supporting "extreme soft politics", such as supposed lenience with organized crime and drug trafficking. Marcelo Freixo, a candidate for mayor of the city of Rio de Janeiro in 2012 and 2016, was dubbed "Marcelo Frouxo" (Marcelo the floppy) by the right-wing opposition, for his policies that are accused of being too weak against organized crime and support for a policy of human rights that, according to opponents, only serve to "defend criminals and outlaws", in detriment of police force and common people.

Left-wing criticism of the PSOL is due to a supposed elitism, which allegedly focuses too much on these issues and forgets more important issues for the general population such as economics and labor rights. Although there is no major ideological disagreements between the PSOL and the rest of the left over social issues, often left-wing parties accuse the PSOL of taking an extremely aggressive stance on these issues, which ultimately generates a rejection of the party by the working and lower middle classes, typically religious and conservative, and stigmatizes the Brazilian left as a upper-class radicals without contact with the poor people. Another left-wing criticism, especially by the Workers Party and PCdoB, also accuse PSOL of a supposed "ideological purism" and intransigence to negotiate with parties of non-socialist origin, especially the PMDB. PSOL defends itself by saying that these negotiations are corrupt and, ultimately, led to the fall of PT and the impeachment of Dilma Rousseff.

Members of the National Congress

Following the 2010 general election, PSOL currently has one senator and five federal deputies in the National Congress of Brazil. Although being very small in parliament PSOL is the 5th most popular party in Brazil,[4] and it is recognized as different from the bigger PSDB and PT parties and the cronyist and catch-all parties without an ideology.

It is the only party present in the Congress which did not receive money from big companies and the only party that claimed the removal of the President of the Chamber of Deputies, Eduardo Cunha.

Federal Deputies

Name State Internal tendency
Francisco "Chico" Alencar Rio de Janeiro independent
Ivan Valente São Paulo Popular Socialist Action (Socialist Unity)
Edmilson Rodrigues Pará Popular Socialist Action (Socialist Unity)
Jean Wyllys Rio de Janeiro independent
Glauber Braga Rio de Janeiro independent

Former deputies: Maninha (DF), João Fontes (SE), Luciana Genro (RS), Babá (DF), Orlando Fantazzini (SP) and João Alfredo (CE).

Notes: The military union leader, Corporal Daciolo (RJ), was expelled from the party in 2015.

State Deputies

Name State Internal tendency
Marcelo Freixo Rio de Janeiro independent
Paulo Ramos Rio de Janeiro Socialist Unity
Flávio Serafini Rio de Janeiro Insurgency
Eliomar Coelho Rio de Janeiro independent
Doctor Julianelli Rio de Janeiro independent
Raul Marcelo São Paulo May 1
Carlos Giannazi São Paulo independent
Fabrício Furlan Amapá independent
Professor Paulo Lemos Amapá Socialist Unity
Renato Roseno Ceará Insurgency
Edilson Silva Pernambuco We're PSOL (Socialist Unity)
Pedro Ruas Rio Grande do Sul Left Socialist Movement


Name Municipality Internal tendency
Gelsimar Gonzaga Itaocara independent
Oton Costa Jaçana Left Socialist Movement

Clécio Luís, Mayor of Macapá, left the party to join Sustainability Network.



PSOL launched Heloísa Helena to run for president in 2006 elections. The vice-presidential candidate was intellectual César Benjamin. The party ran in a left-wing ticket along with two other parties: trotskyist United Socialist Workers' Party (PSTU) and communist Brazilian Communist Party (PCB).

The alliance was extended to gubernatorial elections. In Minas Gerais, for instance, Vanessa Portugal, from the PSTU, ran for governor with PSOL's support, although not with PCB's. Prominent PSOL gubernatorial candidates were Plínio de Arruda Sampaio in São Paulo, Milton Temer in Rio de Janeiro and Roberto Robaina in Rio Grande do Sul. However, they were all defeated.

Heloísa Helena finished the presidential race in the third place, receiving 6.5 million votes throughout the country (6.85% of the valid votes). Three federal deputies, Luciana Genro, Chico Alencar and Ivan Valente, managed to get re-elected.


In the 2010 candidate for presidential election Plínio de Arruda Sampaio received 888.000 votes (0.87%). Plinio presented an agrarian reform project in 1964 when he was federal deputy, but the 1964 Military Coup ended the project and Plinio lost his mandate. Although he received very few votes Plinio became famous after the elections because he was qualified as an anti-candidate.

PSOL elected three deputies again, Chico Alencar, Ivan Valente and Jean Wyllys, who is compared to American politician Harvey Milk and have become the best Brazilian deputy according to journalists.

Toninho do PSOL from Federal District got the best gubernatorial result. He finished in third place with 14.25%.


In 2012 PSOL got its best results so far. Clecio Luis and Gelsimar Gonzaga were elected mayors in Macapá, Amapá's state capital, and Itaocara.

In the northern second largest city Belém and in Rio de Janeiro, PSOL finished second and elected four city councillors – the second largest group in those councils. In Belem Edmilson Rodrigues got 43.39% and in Rio de Janeiro Marcelo Freixo got 28.15%, almost 1 million votes.

In São Paulo, Fortaleza, Campinas, Belo Horizonte, Curitiba, Salvador, Natal, Florianópolis, Niterói, São Gonçalo and Pelotas PSOL also got respectable results. In the 2012 49 city councilors from PSOL were elected.


The former federal deputy Luciana Genro, from Left Socialist Movement, was the candidate in the 2014 Presidential Elections. She got 1,612,186 votes finishing in 4th place. She received the support of important Brazilian intellectuals and popstars like Chico de Oliveira, Rogério Arantes, Vladimir Safatle, Michel Löwy, Gregorio Duvivier, Valesca Popozuda, Zélia Duncan, Karina Buhr, Clara Averbuck, Marina Lima, Juca Kfouri, Preta Gil, Laerte Coutinho, Marcelo Yuka and the international popstar Jessica Sutta. Her candidature was well regarded in the LGBT community.

PSOL elected 5 federal deputies and 12 state deputies. Marcelo Freixo (RJ) received the highest vote for a state deputy in Brazil with 350,408 votes. Carlos Giannazi was the leftist most voted in São Paulo with 164,929 votes.

Governors Tarcísio Motta (RJ) with 8.92% (14.62% in city of Rio Janeiro) and Robério Paulino (RN) with 8.74% (22.45% in capital Natal) got excellent results. Senate candidate Heloísa Helena (AL) got 31.86%, but she lost the election to former Brazilian president Fernando Collor de Mello, who was impeached.

Electoral results


Election year Candidate 1st round 2nd round
# of overall votes % of overall vote # of overall votes % of overall vote
2006 Heloísa Helena 6,575,393 6.9 (#3)
2010 Plínio de Arruda Sampaio 886,816 0.9 (#4)
2014 Luciana Genro 1,612,186 1.6 (#4)


Chamber of Deputies

Election year # of overall votes % of overall vote # of overall seats won +/- Government Notes
2006 1,149,619 1.2
3 / 513
in opposition
2010 1,142,737 1.2
3 / 513
Steady0 in opposition
2014 1,745,470 1.8
5 / 513
Increase2 in opposition


Election year # of overall votes % of overall vote # of overall seats won +/- Notes
2006 351,527 0.4
1 / 27
Increase1 PSOL did not originally gain a seat at the 2006 election. However, after Senator Ana Júlia de Vasconcelos Carepa (PT) resigned, following her election as Governor of Pará State, José Nery de Azevedo (PSOL) took her seat in the Senate as a member of the class of 2006.
2010 3,041,854 1.8
2 / 45
2014 1,045,275 1.2
1 / 45


  1. ^
  2. ^ Senra, Ricardo; Guimarães, Thiago (31 October 2016). "Como as eleições municipais desidrataram os partidos de esquerda". BBC Brasil (in Portuguese). Retrieved 3 December 2017. 
  3. ^ Gonçalves da Silva, Júlio César. "Partido dos professores: elite partidária e evolução política do Partido Socialismo e Liberdade (PSOL)". Electoral Justice of Brazil (in Portuguese). Retrieved 3 December 2017. 
  4. ^[dead link]
Preceded by
45 – BSDP (PSDB)
Numbers of Brazilian Official Political Parties
50 – SOLP (PSOL)
Succeeded by
51 – PATRI
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