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Brazil: disappointing municipal authorities for Bolsonaro

The traditional parties of the center and the conservative right emerge strengthened from the first round of municipal Sunday in Brazil. It was a first mid-term electoral test for far-right President Jair Bolsonaro, but it failed because he failed to get his “foals” elected.

In the country’s largest metropolis, Sao Paulo, it was the outgoing mayor, Bruno Covas (center right) who easily qualified for the second round on November 29. In Rio it is the former right-wing mayor Eduardo Paes (2009-2016), with 37%, according to almost final results, who succeeds. In this city, the candidate supported by Jair Bolsonaro, television presenter Celso Russomanno, missed the march and it was Guilherme Boulos, from a left-wing party, who qualified for the second round.

Another candidate backed by the president, the unpopular mayor Marcelo Crivella, a former neo-Pentecostal pastor, qualified in Rio de Janeiro for the second round, but with only 22% of the vote. The majority of the other candidates supported by the head of state were rejected.

“The president is no longer the maker of kings”

148 million voters were called to elect 5,569 mayors and their municipal councilors in a poll clouded by the coronavirus pandemic which has killed more than 165,000 in Brazil and plunged the country into recession.

These elections “were bad for Bolsonaro, his candidates lose in the main cities”, confirmed Mauricio Santoro, political scientist from the State University of Rio de Janeiro. “It’s a good thermometer for the political temperature of the country. This shows that the president is no longer the kingmaker he was two years ago, when he could elect strangers. “

For Oswaldo Amaral, political scientist at Unicamp University, “the strength of Bolsonarism in large cities is starting to be called into question”, two years before the presidential election. Jair Bolsonaro, who is not affiliated with any party, will have to cede more to the “centrao”, a coalition of conservative parties, in order to govern. A far-right deputy for 27 years, Bolsonaro won the presidential election by presenting himself as “anti-system”. But for these municipal, “the voter leaned for more experienced and moderate politicians than during the election (presidential) of 2018 marked by anger and revolt, ”explains Mauricio Santoro. “It is the pandemic and the fear of unemployment” which weighed the most.

“Everything went in a strangely normal way”

The Brazilians have thus given their preference to the old conservative parties with first-round elections in Belo Horizonte, Curitiba and Salvador. The left, still divided, can take advantage of the qualification of a communist for the second round in Porto Alegre. The Workers’ Party of ex-president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva suffered the worst defeat in its history in 2016 with the loss of more than 60% of the municipalities conquered in the previous election. “I think the PT will come out very strengthened […] and that we are going to win a lot of cities, ”said Lula, after voting in Sao Bernardo do Campo, near Sao Paulo.

Despite a computer failure that seriously delayed the announcement of the results, “everything went in a strangely normal way,” said Luis Robert Barroso, president of the Higher Electoral Court, while “we are in the midst of a pandemic”. Due to Covid-19, the campaign was carried out on social networks, and very little on the ground. This did not prevent the procession of usual violence, with several dozen assassinations.

This ballot, postponed by six weeks due to the pandemic, was marked by a sharp increase in applications from blacks, women and transsexuals. The election gave rise to a lot of false information, aimed at discrediting the vote, according to the coalition of verification bodies with election authorities.

Original article by : www.leparisien.fr

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