Brazil’s political scenery has been redesigned, for all practical purposes, with the inauguration of new mayors throughout the country. The PT (Workers’ Party) won elections in the greatest number of capitals, nine all told.
Among them there are Belo Horizonte, state of Minas Gerais, Fortaleza (Ceará), and Recife (Pernambuco), all cities with over a million residents, which are now governed by the PT.
The PSDB (Social Democratic Party of Brazil) won the elections in five capital cities, including São Paulo, which has the county’s biggest electoral body, 7.7 million voters.
Other cities won by the “toucans” (PSDB) were Curitiba, which has 1 million voters, Teresina, Cuiabá, and Florianópolis.
The PMDB (Brazilian Democratic Movement Party), even though the number of mayoralty races won was less than in 2000 – 1,059, compared with 1,257 – is still the biggest party spread across the country in small and medium-sized municipalities.
In Brazil’s 60 cities that have populations between 200 thousand and a million voter, the PMDB won 8 of the mayoralties.
In the ranking of new mayors who took office Saturday, the PFL (Liberal Front Party), took third place with 789. This figure represents a decline from the 1028 mayors that the party had in 2000.
Among the three municipalities governed by PFL mayors – Salvador, Rio de Janeiro, and Curitiba -Rio de Janeiro was the only city in which the PFL mayor, César Maia, won reelection, for four more years in office.
For David Fleischer, political scientist at the University of Brasília (UnB), the mayors that are taking office now, especially in the big cities, will be the main actors in the 2006 presidential election.
In Fleischer’s opinion, these political figures will have an influence in the choice of candidates for state government office, as well as the formation of coalitions for the Presidency.
“In each state, the mayor of the capital city is potentially a candidate for the governorship of the state, ” Fleischer affirmed.
Fleischer recalled that the basis of the new arrangement of the municipal political scene should be utilized by President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva to reconstruct his alliances in the National Congress.
“It will be with this new political base hat Lula will try to reformulate his governmental coalition,” the political scientist remarked.
Translation: David Silberstein