Leaders of the Brazilian Socialist Party (PSB) are expected to meet next Monday, August 18, in Recife in order to determine who is to take Eduardo Campos’s place and run for president in the upcoming elections. Campos died in an air crash that killed seven people altogether.
“The meeting has been confirmed. If the burial is held on Sunday, we’ll gather on Monday, here in Recife, since the entire country is here,” Deputy and PSB member Gonzaga Patriota revealed.
A date for the burial was uncertain for sometime, as the bodies have been considerably deformed in the accident. The remains that were taken to the Forensic Institute (IML) of Santos, the coastal town where the crash occurred, were cleaned and cataloged for subsequent DNA tests.
Genetic material from living family members is also being used in the identification. IML announced that as soon as the genetic identity of the bodies has been ascertained, official reports will be issued and the corpses released to the families.
Among the fatalities are advisor Pedro Valadares, journalist Carlos Percol, cameraman Marcelo Lira, photographer Alexandre Severo, and pilots Marcos Martins and Geraldo da Cunha, aside from Campos.
Deputy Patriota showed support for the appointment of former Senator Marina Silva, Campos’s running mate: “I can’t speak on behalf of the party, but I do believe that, when we choose someone as running mate, as Eduardo did Marina, I don’t see why designating Marina as the substitute shouldn’t be a priority.”
In the view of the congressman, Marina Silva represents the party’s most workable solution. In compliance with the norms set by the Electoral Court, in case of death, the parties must name a substitute for its candidate within ten days’ time.
The legislation recommends a member of the same party for the substitution, which is Marina Silva’s case. However, the coalition may act differently if it so wishes. According to the Superior Electoral Court (TSE), the replacement should be effected by the vote of the absolute majority of the coalition’s board of directors,
João Lyra Neto, the current governor of Pernambuco and also one of PSB’s leaders, believes that the party should once again elect its own candidate, and that Marina Silva “is a great name.”
He says his party has been working to two deadlines: the legal one and the political one: “The legal deadline is in ten days, and, as for the political one, we must be aware that the daily electoral program on radio and television starts on the 19th,” he remarked.
Most presidential candidates have halted their campaigns on account of Eduardo Campos’s death. Candidates running for other positions who were near to Campos decided to act likewise.
TSE President Dias Toffoli, however, has turned down the request of the Green Party’s presidential candidate Eduardo Jorge to postpone the beginning of the electoral propaganda on radio and television, slated to begin on Tuesday, August 19.
According to Eduardo Jorge, the postponement would be necessary to allow Eduardo Campos’s coalition to adapt the programs to be aired to the new reality. “This way we’d be given the necessary interval to start the political debate that’s crucial to our democracy,” he argued.
As part of his response to Eduardo Jorge, Toffoli stated that putting off the beginning of the political advertisement upon the individual request of a candidate is not possible, “because the matter is settled by electoral legislation, and not by the will of the Electoral Court”.
The dead body of Campos will be buried in Recife, the state capital of Pernambuco, in the same grave as his grandfather Miguel Arraes, who was one of the state’s most popular leaders in the 50’s and 60’s. Arraes was persecuted by the military after the 1964 coup, lived in Algeria as an exile for over 15 years.
He too died on August 13, nine years ago. So far, no date has been fixed for Campos’s burial, but, according to family members, his wake will be held at the Palácio do Campo das Princesas (Palace of the Princesses’ Field), the seat of the state government, of which Campos was the head for two terms.
The atmosphere in Recife is marked by deep sorrow. The façade of the headquarters of Campos’s campaign committee was seen early this morning to be covered in black banners as a symbol of mourning. Since his death was confirmed, friends, coreligionists and politicians have extended their condolences to his family.
Eduardo Campos was married and had five children, the youngest of whom only seven months old. His mother, Ana Arraes, has also been a federal deputy, and is currently a minister at the Brazilian Federal Court of Accounts.