Return to Civilian Government, Abertura
Brazilian Democratic Movement, political crimes, Geisel, abertura, television studios
By 1973 the economy was expanding at an extraordinary pace, and the military appeared to have control over the political system. Moderate forces within the military brought General Ernesto Geisel to the presidency in 1974. The son of German immigrants, Geisel initiated abertura (opening), a series of reforms that gradually allowed limited political organization and elections. The legal opposition party, the Brazilian Democratic Movement (MDB), began to win important elections.
Geisel handpicked his successor, General Joao Baptista Figueiredo. Figueiredo’s presidency began in 1979 by furthering abertura with the declaration of a general amnesty for all political crimes since 1964. The government also allowed exiles to return home. Figueiredo released the last few political prisoners, and official censors finally left the pressrooms and television studios. The Figueiredo government also issued guidelines for the formation of new political parties and for open election of governors in 1982.
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