Mayors elected in Brazil’s municipalities took office on Saturday, January 1st. According to the Federal Election Board (Tribunal Superior Eleitoral) (TSE), there were pending legal questions from the 2004 elections in less than 1% of the country’s 5,562 municipalities where mayors did not take office because new runoff elections will have to take place.
The TSE and the National Confederation of Municipalities both estimate the number of mayors who were reelected at around 25%, or about 1,500. This continues the tendency in Brazil to have the vast majority of mayors recently elected.
Among the mayors who took office on Saturday was José Serra from the PSDB party, who will be running the biggest city in South America, São Paulo. Serra was elected with 3,330,179 votes, 54.68%.
In his inaugural speech he pledged to remain committed to the public interest and be guided by ethics in his relationship with the Legislature.
President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva was represented at the ceremony by the minister of Justice, Marcio Thomaz Bastos. A thousand guests attended; among them was former president Fernando Henrique Cardoso.
In Rio de Janeiro, César Maia, from the PFL party, who was reelected in the first round vote, declared that the social area is his priority.
Maia took advantage of his inaugural speech to announce that he intends to run for president of Brazil in 2006, although he is only getting 5% in the early presidential polls.
Translation: Allen Bennett
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