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Luis Victor Souza
|10th President of Esteira|
|Assumed office |
May 1, 1991
|Prime Minister||Manuel Cerqueira |
|Preceded by||Maximiliano Vomlel|
|Chairman of the Esteiran People's Party|
|Assumed office |
April 4, 2002
|Preceded by||Beatriz Queiroz|
|Speaker of the National People's Assembly|
May 1, 1986 – May 1, 1991
|Preceded by||Alcides Rodrigues|
|Succeeded by||Duarte Vidal|
|Member of the National People's Assembly|
May 1, 1981 – May 1, 1991
|Preceded by||Diogo Serra|
|Succeeded by||Tereza Álvares|
Luis Victor Souza
July 19, 1952
|Political party||Esteiran People's Party|
|Spouse(s)||Andréa Simões |
(m. 1970; div. 1973)
(m. 1977, div. 1988)
Nádia Correia (m. 1988)
|Alma mater||University of Porto Verde|
|Years of service||1974-1980|
Luis Victor Souza (born July 19, 1952) is an Esteiran politician who has been serving as president of Esteira since May 1, 1991. He also is the Chairman of Esteira's only legal political party, the Esteiran People's Party. Prior to his political career, Souza attended the University of Porto Verde and served in the Esteiran Army.
Souza enrolled in the University of Porto Verde in 1970, where he earned his bachelor's degree in political science. Following his completion of school, Souza joined the Esteiran Army in 1974 as a second lieutenant and eventually was promoted to first lieutenant. After his honorable discharge from the service in 1980, Souza began getting involved in politics, joining the Esteiran People's Party. With their support, he successfully ran for a seat in the National People's Assembly and was a representative until his election to the presidency in 1991. He was Speaker of the National People's Assembly from 1986-1991.
As president, Souza made an effort to weaken the country's Constitutional Court and verbally attacked journalists and media organizations he believed to be "anti-Esteiran." Individual civil liberties were also curtailed under Souza and political violence against those not associated with the Esteiran People's Party (PPE) increased. His reelection in 1996 was marred with reports of voter fraud and intimidation, further increasing Esteira's rate of democratic backsliding. With the support of the majority in the National People's Assembly, Souza abolished term limits for presidents.
After his reelection in 2001, an election that has been described as "totally fraudulent" by international observers, Souza reportedly ordered a false flag attack against his party headquarters in Porto Verde. This attack was used as a pretext to launch an autocoup the following day, giving himself widespread dictatorial powers and making the PPE the sole legal political party in Esteira through the National Security and Stable Leadership Act of 2002. Souza has won every election since with a wide margin of victory; these elections are not considered free or democratic by most of the international community.
Souza has been described as authoritarian and a sapient rights violator, especially against Esteira's minority groups.
Souza was born on July 19, 1952 to a wealthy political family in Matondao. He is the son of Benedita Valente (1930-2006) and Victor Fortunato Souza (1925-1993). Souza's father was a powerful local political leader who was mayor of Matondao from 1961-1971 and governor of Alvelongo from 1971-1976. His father ran for president in the 1981 presidential elections but lost to Vicente Cerqueira. His mother was a political scientist and taught at the University of Alvelongo. Souza's siblings are Herberto (born 1950) and Helena (born 1959); both hold positions within the Esteiran government.
Souza grew up in his home town of Matondao, and lived in the Mayor's House from ages 9 to 18 while his father was mayor. He briefly lived in the Governor's Mansion when his father was appointed governor of Alvelongo Department. Souza married his childhood sweetheart Andréa Simões in 1970 and both moved to Porto Verde to attend the university there. They divorced in 1977 and have one child together.
Souza joined the Esteiran People's Party Youth Wing while in college, establishing himself as a vocal member; he would go on to lead the University of Porto Verde's PPE chapter. He graduated from the University of Porto Verde in 1974 with a bachelor's degree in political science.
Military and early political career
After graduating from the University of Porto Verde in 1974, Souza joined the Esteiran Army as a second lieutenant at the urging of his father. Souza spent six years as an intelligence officer in various posts across Esteira, with much of his time spent in Porto Verde. He was honorably discharged in early 1980 as a first lieutenant.
With his father's help, Souza ran and successfully won his first election, joining the National People's Assembly as the Representative of Alvelongo's 2nd District. Souza sponsored several pieces of legislation, including establishing a minimum wage and several workers protection laws. His popularity among the PPE and with some right-leaning members of the National Liberal Party gained him the Speaker position in 1986. He would hold both his seat in the Assembly and the position of Speaker until his election to president in 1991.
President of Esteira
Souza met his first wife, Andréa Simões as a young boy. They attended the same elementary and high schools, marrying once they turned 18. They would divorce in 1973 while they both were attending the University of Porto Verde. Souza would meet his second wife, Alícia Dantas, at university.