Regional platforms and the presidential second round – 10/02/2022 – Opinion

And Brazil starts the race to the second round. Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (PT) and Jair Bolsonaro (PL) go to the decisive clash with a small numerical advantage for the former president, but which still reveals a country completely fractured by a rivalry that promoted unprecedented political violence in times of democracy. .

The game now, however, is different. There are only two candidates, TV time is evenly distributed, television debates will have more focus and state elections have already been defined in some states, two of them the most populous in the country: Minas Gerais and Rio de Janeiro. Where there is no second round for state governments, the presidential candidates will have warm platforms without being affected by local politics. Where there will still be disputes, Lula and Bolsonaro will certainly have privileged spaces on the platforms of their allies in search of the local vote.

The presidential race in the three most populous states, two without a second round (MG and RJ), and one with (SP), will be crucial to define this final stage. An example: in Minas Gerais, Romeu Zema, despite his proximity to Bolsonaro and the Novo’s antagonism to the PT, acted pragmatically by spending the entire first round avoiding declaring explicit support for the president due to Lula’s high popularity. The PT beat Bolsonaro in Minas Gerais, where the governor, his opponent, was reelected with a large part of the voters doing the Lula-Zema one-two.

In this second round, the Minas Gerais governor will be free to express his support for Bolsonaro without there being electoral risks and/or any damage to the proportional candidates of his party. However, the structure that mobilized the state campaign has already been dismantled, which reduces the potential effect of this endorsement. But, in any case, the support of Zema, who was reelected, will be more effective than the support of the defeated Alexandre Kalil (PSD) for Lula.

In Rio de Janeiro, where Cláudio Castro (PL) was reelected in the first round and Bolsonarism has a strong social base, especially among evangelicals, the trend is that Castro, from the same party as Bolsonaro, is now making every effort to re-elect the current president. . The PT will need to seek strength in a context in which it managed to form a broad alliance with Marcelo Freixo’s PSB, which even included the PSDB, but failed to face the strength of Bolsonarism with the people of Rio de Janeiro.

In São Paulo, where Fernando Haddad (PT) and Tarcísio de Freitas (Republicans) are in the second round, both will certainly nationalize the local election even more because they depend on their political sponsors to maximize their chances of victory. It remains to be seen what will be the behavior of the PSDB and its defeated candidate, Rodrigo Garcia. Targeted by both Haddad and Tarcísio during the first stage, Rodrigo may not express himself or declare support without being directly involved in any campaign. Breaking up with the former São Paulo mayor Gilberto Kassab, which led the PSD to support Tarcísio, the governor would now have more reasons to side with the PT than to ally himself with bolsonarismo — the trauma of “BolsoDoria” still remains alive in the toucan’s nest .

But there is still an asset for PT Haddad to seek support from Garcia. Negotiate with the PT of Rio Grande do Sul the support of Eduardo Leite (PSDB) in the second round against Onyx Lorenzoni (PL). This would solve two problems. Leite would count on the weight support of PT Edegar Pretto, third place with a very tight margin. Thus, if the agreement is reached, Lula would also have an important platform in the Rio Grande do Sul dispute. If this does not happen, Bolsonaro will have a platform in the state dispute, and Lula will not. On the Bolsonarism side, if there is no movement towards approximation with ACM Neto in Bahia, which is competing with the PT in the second round, Jair Bolsonaro, who is very fragile electorally in the Northeast region, will be left without a platform in the Bahian succession.

The dispute in São Paulo, the most populous state in the country, necessarily goes through national elections because it directly reflects the clash between Lula and Bolsonaro and Tarcísio and Haddad. However, the risk of the national agenda overlapping with the local one is inevitable. This contributes to reducing the space for programmatic debate and brings, as has been the custom, not the proposals, but the accusatory clashes, which have characterized these elections and do not contribute at all to democracy.

Articles published with subscription do not reflect the opinion of the newspaper. Its publication follows the purpose of stimulating the debate of Brazilian and world problems and of reflecting the different trends of contemporary thought.

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