Title 3 Chapter 1

The Political and Administrative Organization


Article 18.

The political and administrative organization of Brazil comprises:

  • the Union
  • the states
  • the Federal District
  • the municipalities

All of them are autonomous.

1 Brasília is the federal capital.

2 The federal territories are part of the Union.

Their establishment, transformation into states or reintegration into the state of origin shall be regulated by a supplementary law.

3 The states may:

  • merge into each other
  • subdivide or dismember to be annexed to others or to form new states or federal territories

These are subject to the approval of:

  • the population directly concerned through a plebiscite
  • the National Congress through a supplementary law.

4 The establishment, merger, fusion and dismemberment of municipalities shall:

  • be effected through state law, within the period set forth by supplementary federal law.
  • depend on prior consultation through a plebiscite of the population of the municipalities concerned after the publication of Municipal Feasibility Studies published as set forth by law.

Article 19. The Union, the states, the Federal District and the municipalities are forbidden to:

  1. establish religious sects or churches, subsidize them, hinder their activities, or maintain relationships of dependence or alliance with them or their representatives, without prejudice to collaboration in the public interest in the manner set forth by law;
  2. refuse to honour public documents
  3. create distinctions between Brazilians or preferences favouring some.


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