The election in Minas Gerais

Image: André Moura


It is necessary to convince Lula voters in MG for no vote for Romeu Zema

The “married” vote between Lula and the current governor Romeu Zema is impressive and the turn of these votes could be decisive for there to be a second round in the race for the government of Minas Gerais. This is what the latest poll released by IPEC (formerly Ibope) on the eve of the election indicates.

Voting intentions for Romeu Zema suffered a drop, but the current “Bolsonovista” governor still leads the race with 45% of the voting intentions and can settle the bill in the first round. Meanwhile, the majority of voters in Minas Gerais continue to cast a vote of confidence in Lula, who leads with 49% of intentions, distancing himself from Jair Bolsonaro with 31%.

The phenomenon of the “LuZema” vote, contradictorily, disregards the close relationship between Romeu Zema and Jair Bolsonaro. In 2018, the businessman achieved electoral success surfing the strong wave of anti-politics and anti-PTism, themes that continue to structure his campaign. In the last election, the Novo candidate in Minas Gerais was publicly and formally reprimanded by his party for infidelity, since he abandoned João Amoêdo's campaign halfway through to become a platform for Jair Bolsonaro. And what could have been an opportunistic and contingent stance by Romeu Zema in 2018 in the face of Jair Bolsonaro’s growth remains in 2022.

Although Romeu Zema does not formally support Jair Bolsonaro or any other presidential candidate, the governor runs a strong anti-PT campaign on TV, in his speeches and on social media, which has been much more important in sustaining Jair Bolsonaro's votes in the state of that the campaign of gubernatorial candidate Carlos Viana do PL.

Romeu Zema's “Bolsonovism” should not be new, since both governments were marked by the legacy of environmental destruction, for handing over public assets, for fighting workers' rights and preserving the tax privileges of billionaires. Jair Bolsonaro's "cattle" that passed generated deforestation records in the Amazon also passed in Minas Gerais at the hands of Romeu Zema due to his shady relations with the largest mining companies. It starts with the neglect of the victims of Brumadinho, the negligence of victims of landslides and floods and now aims at the destruction of Serra do Curral, a heritage of the Metropolitan Region of Belo Horizonte.

Romeu Zema reasonably increased his personal wealth and his campaign was mainly funded with campaign donations from millionaire businessmen with a direct interest in tax breaks. Among his main campaign donors are: Salim Mattar, main shareholder of Localiza, and former member of the government Jair Bolsonaro donated one million reais to the governor's campaign.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Romeu Zema also defended treatments without any scientific evidence and echoed Bolsonarist phrases such as: “it is necessary to let the virus circulate”.

For all this, the people of Minas Gerais who will help elect Lula in the 1st round need to vote for any other candidate other than Romeu Zema and help rid our state of the Bolsonovist nightmare, under penalty of setbacks in social and environmental rights in our state are no longer reversible.

PSOL launched the candidacy of my partner Lorene Figueiredo for the government. It has been instrumental in raising strategic debates: the struggle of women, black people and LGBTIs, the defense of Serra do Curral, the confrontation with the tax privileges of billionaires and the super rich, among others. These are examples of themes that were addressed in debates on TV and in the press that would not even have been touched on if she had not been present.

Today, with just a few days left for the first round, we understand that above all, it is very important to fight for no votes for Romeu Zema! All candidacies and people committed to social rights and the environment need to unite to get Romeu Zema votes in this final stretch. My candidacy for federal deputy is at the service of these two fundamental objectives: electing Lula in the first round and at the same time that we will fight to guarantee that there is a second round in Minas Gerais. Let's go with courage!

* Iza Lourença, Graduated in Social Communication from UFMG, she is a councilor in Belo Horizonte for Psol.


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