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By BENICIO VIERO SCHMIDT*

Comments on recent events

The great highlight of the moment is the result of the municipal elections that have not yet ended because there will be a second round in 57 of the 96 largest Brazilian cities. The results point to a great party fragmentation in the already closed choice of mayors, deputy mayors and councilors. The numbers indicate that both the forces supported by Bolsonaro, without a party, and the forces supported by explicit statements by former President Lula did not result in positive effects for both groups.

The left had a very weak performance with the exception of Recife – where two candidates similar in ideological profile are contesting the second round –; Porto Alegre, with the possibility of victory for Manuela d'Ávila; from São Paulo, with Guilherme Boulos disputing the mayoralty with Bruno Covas and from Fortaleza, where the PDT candidate, Sarto Nogueira should win.

Together, PSD, PSDB, PP, DEM and PL obtained 59% of the country's mayoralties. Thus, a clear conservative, moderate profile, linked to the more traditional political interests of the municipalities, prevailed.

69 parliamentarians presented themselves as candidates for mayor. Of these, only 19 were elected in the first round. A much lower rate than the previous elections of 2016 and 2012.

The MDB continues to hold the largest number of city halls, although it dropped from 1028 in 2016 to 755 in 2020. It lost more than 300 city halls, but maintained the first position. In second place, the DEM, which was the only one to increase its participation: from 272 city halls in 2016 to 450 city halls now in the first round. PSDB lost more than 30% of city halls, had 805 in 2016 and got 486 now. The PT went from having 257 city halls to 174, which illustrates the party's electoral weakness throughout the country.

The biggest news was the performance of Guilherme Boulos. His innovative campaign occupied a stronghold that used to be almost all Bolsonarists, that of social networks, mobilizing mainly youth. This indicates that even if he does not win the elections, he will remain a very strong organized force in São Paulo, with Psol's hegemony on the left.

Another highlight, this international one – apart from Donald Trump's inability to recognize Joe Biden's triumph – was the signing on November 15, under the leadership of China, of the largest free trade agreement in the world, encompassing 15 countries in the region called Asia. -Pacific, including Japan, Australia and New Zealand. One third of the world's population resides in these countries.

*Benicio Viero Schmidt is a retired professor of sociology at UnB. Author, among other books, of The State and urban policy in Brazil (LP&M)

 

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