RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) – Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has suffered a setback as most of the dozens of candidates he supported in the municipal elections failed to win.
In more than 5,500 cities, Brazilians voted for mayors and city councilors on Sunday. The wave of political renewal that incited Bolsonaro to the presidency two years ago emerged in the face of well-known candidates and traditional parties that garnered the most votes in the two most populous cities. According to a rally in the newspaper Estado de S. Paulo, out of about 60 candidates whom the leader endorsed, only nine were advanced.
Bolsonaro, who is not currently affiliated with any political party, said that he would not be involved in the election campaign, but in recent weeks he has called on socialists to promote a dozen candidates for mayor as well as pastoral candidates. Turned to the media.
Bruno Caraza, a professor of economic law at Ibmec Business School in Brazil, said Bolsonaro had not made a concerted effort to unify supporters in the municipal elections and lost the opportunity to “prepare the ground” for the 2022 elections.
The president deleted a social media post with a list of his endorsed candidates and sought to distance himself from his poor performance. Only two mayors supported by the president secured a spot in the second round.
He wrote, “Some mayoral candidates were helped by 4 live broadcasts on social media in 4 hours.”
Philip Martins, an advisor to the president, was writing on his forthcoming Twitter, to his dismay, that the opposition had made significant progress.
“Either we do the necessary self-criticism, or our errors will be paid at an even higher price in the future,” Martin wrote.
Television presenter and federal lawmaker Celo Rosamano (Republican) – one of Bolsonaro’s biggest disappointments came in his chosen candidate, São Paulo. Current Mayor Bruno Kovus (PSDB Party) did not garner enough votes to avoid runoff against rival Guillerme Bulos (PSOL Party), a Bolsonaro critic.
In Rio de Janeiro, former Mayor Eduardo Pace (DEM Party) gained a wide edge over current Mayor Marcello Crivella (Republican Party), one of two mayoral candidates supported by Bolsonaro who would pursue a runoff.
“The vote was not an assessment of presidential rule, but rather a political thermometer of the country,” said Mauricio Santoro, a political science professor at the State University of Rio de Janeiro. “The voter was more cautious, moving towards more experienced and liberal politicians than in the anti-system election of 2018.”
About 148 million people were eligible to vote nationwide, and Brazilians between the ages of 18 and 70 are compulsory to vote.