Center-right mayor beats socialist in Brazil’s largest city

SAO PAULO (AP) – The mayor of America’s largest city easily faced a daunting challenge from the socialist leader of a squatter movement as 57 Brazilian cities held runoff elections on Sunday.

With less than 1% of ballots still to be counted in São Paulo, Mayor Bruno Covas received just 60% to 40% of the votes for Gilharme Bulos, which was backed by former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.

Cova, the grandson of the former state governor and presidential candidate, is a close associate of the current São Paulo state government. João Doria, his predecessor as mayor, and a strong showing could fuel Doria’s presidential aspirations for the center-right Brazilian Social Democracy Party. .

The 40-year-old Kovus celebrated his victory at his party’s headquarters with Doria.

“Sao Paulo said yes to moderation,” Mayer said, for balance. Kovus said that “a few days are left for denialists,” a message his colleagues interpreted as a swipe at Bolsonaro, aimed at reducing the risks of coronovirus and limiting the effects of the epidemic. Challenges health protocols.

Doria, who considers Bolsonaro one of his greatest mentors, said Kovas’ victory came from “moderation, common sense and management skills”.

He publicized his demonstration, leading the city of 12 million people through the coronovirus crisis, helping to establish the region’s hospitals and advancing restrictions on activity while President Jair Bolsonaro dismissed the severity of the epidemic. A cancer survivor, Kova also recovered from a bout with the virus in June.

Booleos, the 38-year-old son of university professors, decided to become a community organizer in poor areas of the city at the age of 16 and has not left since, still living in a poor neighborhood with his wife and two daughters. Even with a defeat, he hopes to become one of the most important leftist leaders in Brazil, proposing himself to the mayor runoff.

Boulos wins from the balcony of his home, where he is splitting due to testing positive for coronovirus.

“We will win. It was not in the election, but we will win,” he told a small crowd in front of his house. “A lot of people hope again. It was the biggest win of our campaign. Today’s one of the campaigns. It was not the end. It was the beginning. “

One of the leaders of the homeless activist movement, Bulos is known for organizing invasions of vacant buildings in downtown Sao Paulo, arguing that they should be shared by homeless families.

The rise of Baulos of the Socialism and Liberty Party has raised hopes among the brazen leftists of Brazil, who were long led by Da Silva, who managed to draw crowds to their campaign rallies.

Da Silva’s Workers Party lost two of its runaways in the cities of Recife and Vittoria in the state capitals, and only won a few victories in mid-size cities.

Baulos’ party elected Edmilson Rodrigues as the mayor of Belem in the Amazon metropolis.

Both mayoral candidates in São Paulo oppose Bolsonaro, whose mayoral candidate finished fourth in the fourth round two weeks ago, with half of the vote being from Baulos.

Alberto Bueno, a partner at consulting firm Concordia, said that the Socialist candidate could be an important leader even in defeat.

“Baulos managed to win over the younger audience and woo anti-leftist Bolsonaro voters,” Bueno said.

The conservative Bolsonaro campaigned for some candidates during his live broadcast on social media in recent weeks, but some of them won.

The president’s biggest shock, apart from São Paulo, came in his hometown of Rio de Janeiro, where his favorite candidate, Mayor Marcello Crivella, lost to former Mayor Eduardo Pace by a large margin. Pace led by 64% -36% with almost all votes counted.

In his first speech after being elected, Pace was accompanied by Lower House Speaker Rodrigo Mia, who has had a strained relationship with the president.

“Too much hatred, too much division.” This is not good for the citizens of Rio, for the citizens of Brazil.

Carlos Mello, a political science professor at Inspar University in São Paulo, said the most important runoff was no big surprise.

“Bolsanaro lost, the Workers Party lost, and some of the centrist and center-right parties won a lot. It was not very different from the first round, ”Mello said. “Some of the parties that have chosen several mayors are still in Bolsonaro’s base, but they can move away from that.”


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