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By Maria D'Alva Gil Kinzo

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Additional info for Legal Opposition Politics under Authoritarian Rule in Brazil: The Case of the MDB, 1966–79

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44 The main characteristic of both of the then recently created parties was the confluence of the most varied tendencies which, in order to survive politically, were compelled to cohabit the same party. The way in which the dissolved thirteen political parties entered the new party framework is a good illustration of this. 1 shows how the federal deputies from the previous political parties were distributed between ARENA and the MDB soon after the setting up of the two-party system. In the table the party labels are classified according to a very loose ideological division between conservative and reformist lines.

This institute which was named Instituto Pedroso Horta (in memory of the MDB's exleader in the Federal Chamber) took important initiatives in promoting conferences on socio-economic and political themes, and a The MDB's Organization, Structure and Programme 39 series of publications on specific issues which the party had defended in Congress, on the symposia promoted by the party, and on the electoral platforms. During the period in which the MDB was a very weak organisation, the actual functioning of its structure was quite precarious.

20 Apart from the meeting at the conventions and the period of electoral campaigns when there was more communication between the national, regional and local organizations, the functioning of the party structure, and the relationship between the different levels, was very limited. The participation and influence of the local organizations at the higher echelons were almost nonexistent. Even the influence of the higher organs on the lower echelons was restricted to the dispatch of instructions for the holding of the conventions, of material for electoral campaigns or information about some important resolution decided by the regional or national directorates.

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