History, The Collor Administration
Itamar Franco, protectionist trade policies, Brazilian economy, inauguration, Mello
The election of Fernando Collor de Mello in late 1989, and his inauguration in March 1990, marked the completion of the long and difficult process of abertura. Finally, Brazilians had the opportunity to elect their president directly through the ballot box rather than having one imposed by a small clique of generals. More than 80 million Brazilians voted in the presidential election, the vast majority for the first time. In his first two years in office Collor implemented an economic program that brought inflation down, but failed to contain it. More important, he began to drastically curtail the stateís role in the Brazilian economy and to dismantle protectionist trade policies.
The great hopes millions of Brazilians had for the Collor presidency soon disappeared as the economic program failed to halt extremely high inflation rates, which reached a peak of more than 1,500 percent in 1991. A corruption scandal also badly damaged the government. In 1992 legislative investigations uncovered an influence peddling scheme that involved hundreds of millions of dollars, much of it going to Collor. In December 1992 the Congress impeached Collor and swore in his vice president, Itamar Franco, to serve out the last two years of Collorís term.
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