Scandals alienate voters and scramble municipal election in Rio de Janeiro

Ricardo Ismael, sociologist and professor at the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro (PUC-RJ), said he believed voters want an alternative, but are much more suspicious than in the past because the discredit towards state politicians has increased, then involved in corruption scandals, including confirmed candidates at city halls.

“The candidates – who will be very numerous in this election -, will have to make a much greater effort to convince us because everyone is behind us, voters are suspicious”, stressed the professor at PUC-RJ.

“It will be a very competitive electoral process that will only be decided in the final stretch of the first round and, probably, many people can give up voting, either because of the pandemic or because of distrust of politicians in Rio de Janeiro. It is an open process, ”added Ismael.

A poll by the Political Atlas, published by the newspaper Valor Económico last week, indicated that the former mayor of Rio de Janeiro and candidate for office again Eduardo Paes is in the lead with 19.7% of the voting intentions, followed by the current mayor Marcelo Crivella (11.1%), by former ‘fluminense’ governor Benedita da Silva (9.6%), state deputy Martha Rocha (6%).

In addition to the favorites, the municipal election of the ‘wonderful city’ has eleven other candidates in the dispute that has the first scheduled to take place on November 15 and the second round on the 29th of the same month. In this survey, the number of voters who intend to annul the vote – which is mandatory in Brazil – exceeds the voting intention of all candidates (22.7%).

The leader of this and other polls, Eduardo Paes, was recently indicted in a lawsuit over corruption schemes investigated by the Lava Jato operation, which investigates crimes at Petrobras and other public institutions in the country, and although it is better placed that rivals run the business. risk of losing strength if your situation gets complicated in court.

The deputy leader and current mayor, Marcelo Crivella, is also investigated for alleged corruption schemes and, in addition, suffered a great deal of wear during his term because he was involved in many controversies that have already become folkloric as an attempted promoted censorship. at the last Book Biennial in Rio de Janeiro, when he seized a comic book magazine that contained homosexual characters.

Within this scenario, three women, Benedita da Silva, Martha Rocha and Renata Souza, will be able to surprise and win over the still undecided electorate.

“Rio de Janeiro is a great laboratory for emerging politicians. From time to time, new political actors leave Rio de Janeiro and achieve an unpredictable victory in both the executive and legislative spheres, ”recalled Creomar de Souza, political risk analyst at Dharma Political Risk and Strategy.

“Taking as a backdrop the very process that involved the election of the President [do Brasil, Jair] Bolsonaro, who had as a very important variant the wear and tear that the other candidates suffered, we noted that the rejection, disillusionment and hurt that a considerable number of voters showed towards the Workers’ Party and other leaders was fundamental to the Brazilian electoral process, and I think this will be fundamental again now in Rio de Janeiro ”, stressed Souza.

Ismael explained that as the electoral process is dynamic, the population of Rio de Janeiro is still getting to know the candidates.

“Either way, there will be pragmatism. If the candidates are not ideal, the population knows that it will still be necessary to choose one because it is necessary for someone to govern Rio de Janeiro as of January 1, 2021 ”, he concluded.

CYR // PJA

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