Brazilians go to the polls this Sunday in a contest that points to the presidential elections of 2022

Some 148 million Brazilians are able to participate today in the municipal elections this Sunday that, if the polls are not wrong, will favor the center-right advance and the deepening of the political turn that began in 2018. The favoritism of conservative candidates, including those of evangelist pastors and ex-police or ex-military who preach a “strong hand” against crime, does not seem, however, to directly benefit the president Jair Bolsonaro. Rejection of the figure of the retired captain has grown in 15 of the 26 state capitals. In the megalopolis of Sao Paulo, 50% of its inhabitants disapprove of the president, while in Rio de Janeiro the negative opinion is 42%.

The executive authorities and councilors of 5,500 municipalities come into play in the first electoral round. A second shift is expected in several cities on the last Sunday of this month. They will go to the polls amidst a sum of exceptionalities: on the one hand, the pandemic, which caused almost 165,000 deaths and 5.8 million positive cases of covid-19. For the other, the economic crisis. It is also expected that the GDP of the South American giant will collapse close to 6%.

Bolsonaro already dreams of his re-election in 2022. But many of his candidates do not have an advantage in the large urban centers. The mayor of São Paulo Bruno Covas (PSDB, center) is on his way to re-election. Guilherme Boulos, of the leftist PSOL appears second in the polls. Although Celso Russomanno has run his campaign with the president as the banner, he is increasingly far from moving to a second shift. Another peculiarity of this contest is that the retired captain lacks a match own. Upon coming to power, he left the Social Liberal Party (PSL), his ninth grouping in three decades of parliamentary activity. He immediately created the Alliance for Brazil, which was never made official.

Society’s fears

According to a recent survey by the Institute of Democracy, 53% of people eligible to participate in the election had little interest in doing it. 27% of those consulted said they were afraid to go to vote. The fear of returning home with the virus has been the most recurrent explanation. It is not the only danger that crosses the air of that country. Only in the first half of this year were 25,712 people murdered, 7.1% more than in 2018, according to the Brazilian Public Security Forum (FBSP). Of that accumulated total, 3,181 citizens were killed by police bullets. In addition, throughout the present year the politically motivated violence. In the last month, two candidates and three militants have lost their lives. A councilman was shot. But if a count is made of the almost 11 months of 2020, the figure rises to 82 murders, has recorded the Center for Studies on Security and Citizenship (CESeC). Rio de Janeiro is the state most affected by violence. Its growth is related to the activity of the paramilitary militias, which in these elections present several candidates.

The difficulties of the left

The pandemic meant for millions of citizens who were assisted by hospitals, a greater understanding of the role of the state in the midst of calamities. But that recognition does not benefit the positions of the left, generally more inclined to the defense of the public. The Workers Party (PT) is still far from regaining the primacy of that space. Not even with Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva in freedom, he has been able to cope with social dissatisfaction. The former president has two political obsessions. Lula wants to prove his complete innocence in the corruption case for which he was taken to jail. At the same time, it has its sights set on 2022 and wants to focus its efforts on the union of progressive parties to prevent the reelection of the current president. “Brazil may not need Lula, but it doesn’t need a grotesque figure like Bolsonaro “.

The desires of the retired captain to stay in the Planalto Palace collide these days with a situation that was not in his plans: the electoral victory in the United States of Joe Biden. For Piauí magazine, the defeat of Donald Trump “It frustrates one of the main ambitions of the far-right government and, in particular, of the Bolsonaro family, due to its projection inside and outside the country.”

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