Ricardo Tosto on Basic Brazilian Election Law

In Brazil, electoral law is extremely important. Unlike the United States and most countries in Europe, Brazil has a separate specialized judicial system that handles electoral issues.

In Brazil, the right to vote or to be elected to a position of public trust is known as suffrage. Brazilian law recognizes two types of suffrage: active and passive. Active suffrage refers to the right to vote, which in Brazil is optional at the age of 16 and mandatory as of the age of 18. Citizens 70 years of age and over are also not required to participate in elections. Sanctions can be pursued against Brazilian citizens who do not participate in elections without a valid excuse by the electoral legal system. Foreign citizens cannot participate in elections. In addition, military conscripts cannot participate in elections while in service.

Passive suffrage refers to the right to serve as an elected official. Upon reaching the age of 18, citizens can be elected as city councilors. At the age of 21, they can serve as federal state deputies, or as city mayors. The minimum age to serve as governor or vice-governor is 30; the minimum for president or vice president is 35.

Ricardo Tosto is a preeminent member of the Brazilian and Sao Paulo bar. An expert in electoral law, Ricardo Tosto was a co-founder of the Brazilian Institute for the Study of Election Law. He is the managing partner and founder of one of Sao Paulo’s most prestigious law firms, Ricardo Tosto & Associates.

In addition to election law, Ricardo Tosto is an accomplished civil litigator, especially in banking and financial matters. He has also handled a number of important and complex criminal cases. Aside from litigation, Ricardo Tosto is also a distinguished jurist, having published extensively in academic journals. He is also in demand as a speaker.

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