In Brazil, the PMDB Is Still King of the Small Fries

Despite a decrease in the number of city halls won in the 2004 municipal elections – 1,059 – compared with the elections in 2000, when it elected 1,257 mayors, the PMDB remains the party with the greatest overall presence in small and medium-sized municipalities.

In the 60 Brazilian cities that have between 200 thousand and 1 million voters, the PMDB elected eight mayors. In the eight municipalities with over 1 million voters, however, the party failed to win a single election.


The PSDB, which came in second in the number of mayors elected in 2004, conquered the country’s largest electoral college, the municipality of São Paulo, with 7.7 million voters.


The “toucans” – that’s the way members of the PSDB are called – were victorious this year in 871 cities, 119 fewer than in 2000.


Prior to this year’s elections, the PSDB had never governed a city with over 1 million voters. Now the party will administer 13 of them.


Besides São Paulo, the PSDB will govern Curitiba, for example, which has 1,179,223 voters.


In the ranking according to the number of city halls won, the PFL occupies third place, with 789 mayors.


In 2000 the party elected 1,028 mayors, three of them in cities with over 1 million voters: Salvador, Rio de Janeiro, and Curitiba.


In 2004 they lost in Salvador and Curitiba, retaining only Rio de Janeiro, the country’s second largest electoral college, with the victory of César Maia.


In the 60 cities with between 200 thousand and 1 million voters, the PFL failed to win a single election.


The PP remains the country’s fourth largest party in terms of the number of municipalities it commands, even though it followed the same trend as the other three, winning in fewer places than in 2000.


This year the progressives elected 551 mayors, compared with 618 four years ago.


The party failed to win in any municipality with over 1 million voters and elected two mayors in municipalities with between 200 thousand and 1 million voters.


Moving in the opposite direction and electing more mayors, the PTB won in 425 cities this year, compared with 398 in 2000.


The party was victorious in two cities with between 200 thousand and 1 million voters: Juiz de Fora, in Minas Gerais, and Belém, in Pará state.


The PT, which elected 187 mayors in 2000, more than doubled its count in this year’s municipal elections.


The party won in 409 municipalities, three of which have over 1 million voters (Recife, Belo Horizonte, and Fortaleza) and twelve of which have between 200 thousand and 1 million voters.


Nevertheless, the party lost its hold on the country’s largest electoral college – São Paulo – and Porto Alegre, where it has governed for the last 16 years.


The PL, like the PT and the PTB, also added to its total of city halls, going from 234 in 2000 to 382. All of them, however, with under 200 thousand voters.


The PPS was another gainer, increasing the number of municipalities under its control by 140, from 166 in 2000 to 306, of which four have over 200 thousand voters.


One of them, Porto Alegre, which will be administered by José Fogaça, has over 1 million voters.


The PDT, which governs 288 cities, elected 305 mayors this time around. Seven of them are in cities with between 200 thousand and 1 million voters.


The PDT’s greatest triumph in these elections, however, was the conquest of Salvador, the country’s fourth largest electoral college.


The PSB raised its number of mayors from 133, in 2000, to 176 in 2004. The socialists administer seven cities with over 200 thousand voters. None, however, with over 1 million.


Agência Brasil
Translator: David Silberstein

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