Brazil’s PT Party's resounding defeat in local elections

Amid a resounding nationwide defeat for the Brazilian Workers’ Party, or PT, it lost control of the Sao Paulo city hall on Sunday although results in Rio de Janeiro were mixed, with a runoff election in the offing.

Amid a resounding nationwide defeat for the Brazilian Workers’ Party, or PT, it lost control of the Sao Paulo city hall on Sunday although results in Rio de Janeiro were mixed, with a runoff election in the offing.

The PT, which has long dominated Brazilian politics, was severely blasted at the polls by citizens outraged and furious at corruption scandals and the country’s deep economic crisis.

These elections were the first in the South American giant since former President Dilma Rousseff, of the PT, was impeached and thrown out of office in August. Meanwhile, the PT’s founder, former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, Rousseff’s mentor, is facing corruption charges, although he denies any wrongdoing.

Sao Paulo’s PT mayor, Fernando Haddad, was ousted by Joao Doria, of the centrist PSDB, who obtained some 53 percent of the vote.

In Rio de Janeiro, Marcelo Crivella of the conservative Brazilian Republican Party (PRB) won a plurality, albeit of just 28 percent, and will have to go up against leftist PSOL Marcelo Freixo, who garnered 18 percent.

Meanwhile, a total of 150 candidates were arrested in the early hours of voting for violating electoral laws, the national elections commission said.

Of the candidates arrested by police during the day, 114 were taken into custody for campaigning inside polling places, 9 for distributing campaign material in prohibited areas, 13 for corruption and 8 for transporting voters illegally, according to a bulletin released by election authorities after the polls closed.

Another 119 candidates for mayor or city councilors were warned for insisting on continuing to campaign, although they were not arrested.

Election authorities also said that 1,005 voters were arrested for violating election laws, mainly campaigning in voting areas, and there were another 1,010 incidents with voters where nobody was arrested.

Authorities had to replace 3,669 electronic ballot boxes for assorted malfunctions, representing 0.83 percent of the 432,959 around the country.

In his first press conference on the results of election day, Election Court president Gilmar Mendes said that voting had been generally quiet around the country, although there were some cases of violence.

He said that security forces were handling the violence effectively.

Sunday’s municipal elections were held with candidates vying for thousands of posts in 5,568 cities.

The South American country’s 144.4 million registered voters chose from 16,565 candidates competing for mayoral posts and 463,376 others vying for the 310,062 city council seats up for grabs in the elections.

President Michel Temer, who replaced Rousseff, is deeply unpopular in the country, but his PSDB party and other parties allied with him won broad victories over the PT.

Temer was the first voter to cast a ballot in the polling place at the Pontifical Catholic University in Sao Paulo, avoiding a planned protest by students unhappy over the impeachment and removal from office of former President Dilma Rousseff.

Under the law, runoffs will be held on Oct. 30 in races not decided on Sunday.

Top
We use cookies to improve our website. By continuing to use this website, you are giving consent to cookies being used. More details…