Brazil: Lula Helping a Sí£o Paulo Friend

Paulo Maluf (PP) has promised if he gets elected mayor of São Paulo there’s going to be a whole package of goodies for the people: “There’s going to be viaducts, bridges, expressways. We have 29 planned projects. I’m going to know the organogram and cost-benefit of each one and show [how I’ll spend] the budget with maps”.

by Guy Burton

One person who isn’t happy though, is the city’s Archbishop,
Dom Claudio Hummes, who complained about the use of his image in Maluf’s
campaign material. He claims not to have authorized the use of his image in the
TV ad.

Elsewhere, the current mayor, Marta Suplicy (PT), has been
given a helping hand by the Government (also PT). An arrangement has been
reached whereby the city’s debts to the federal government will be repaid on the
30th of each month rather than the 3rd, thereby easing financial pressures
brought about by honouring other payments. According to the Folha de S.
Paulo
daily, this change in the law was made at the beginning of last month.

This other Folha article alleges the change was made to
help Marta in an election year, which of course they deny. The paper also talks
to the financial secretary of Salvador, another city with a big federal debt. He
said he was surprised the change in the law had been brought about.

Elsewhere there was analysis of the TV ads used by the
candidates on Friday night. Erundina (PSB) used the opportunity to condemn a
attack on 10 homeless people, four of whom were killed last week.

Perhaps trying to remind the voters of his previous job as
Health Minister, José Serra (PSDB) encouraged Paulistanos to get their
children vaccinated (in what seemed more like a health broadcast than a party
political one according to the Folha).

He also got the São Paulo state governor, Geraldo Alckmin (also
PSDB) into the material, to lend support. Alckmin currently has a 51% approval
rating.

Marta (PT) used her Saturday spot which had residents
commenting favourably on her education policies. Maluf, meanwhile, put his wife,
Sylvia, up. “He’s always been a marvelous child, a marvelous husband, father and
exceptional grandfather.”

Strains of British Tory party leader Michael Howard, putting up
his former model wife in a bid to banish the ‘something of the night’?

The challengers all seem to be feeling the heat. Along with the
Church’s criticism of Maluf, Serra must also be wondering whether his TV ads
will make the difference.

At the end of last week one of the smaller parties in his
electoral coalition, the Erundina’s website was attacked by the company which
was maintaining it, following the change in the campaign’s managers after the
disastrous poll earlier this month.

The sites, http://www.luizaerundina.com.br and
http://www.erundina.com.br/, now run messages to this effect, meaning that only
http://www.luizaerundina40.can.br/ is untouched.

There’s a saying that people from São Paulo are serious and
work hard, while cariocas (people from Rio de Janeiro) have more fun. And it
would seem that way from the latest TV campaigns up there.

Even though the Liberal Front (PFL) candidate and present
incumbent, Cesar Maia, looks odds on to win (41% of the poll), that hasn’t
stopped the publicity being more entertaining than those in São Paulo.

The Folha reports that while Maia has been droning on
about the achievements in his administration, the PT candidate has been
admitting that he suffers from a charisma deficit while the Liberal candidate
(PL), Marcello Crivella, decided to treat the voters to a song during his spot.

I just hope it was nothing like the contribution that US
Attorney General John Ashcroft has made to the musical canon…


For
much more about the coming São Paulo election visit Guy Burton and Andrew
Steven’s blog at http://www.saopaulo2004.blogspot.com

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