- Title: Corruption scandals, impeachment take toll on Workers Party in municipal elections
- Date: 3rd October 2016
- Summary: BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA (OCTOBER 3, 2016) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF PROTESTERS DEMONSTRATING AGAINST VISIT OF BRAZIL PRESIDENT MICHEL TEMER
- Embargoed: 18th October 2016 20:14
- Keywords: municipal elections Petrobras corruption scandal Michel Temer Dilma Rousseff Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva
- Location: BRASILIA; CURITIBA; PORTO ALEGRE; RIO DE JANEIRO; SAO BERNARDO DO CAMPO AND SAO PAULO, SAO PAULO, BRAZIL AND BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA
- City: BRASILIA; CURITIBA; PORTO ALEGRE; RIO DE JANEIRO; SAO BERNARDO DO CAMPO AND SAO PAULO, SAO PAULO, BRAZIL AND BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA
- Country: Brazil
- Topics: Government/Politics,Elections/Voting
- Reuters ID: LVA00352GBRK3
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:Brazilian political parties implicated in the massive Petrobras corruption scandal, including that of President Michel Temer, suffered major setbacks in Sunday's (October 2) municipal elections that put right-leaning candidates ahead in key cities.
News of the leftist Workers Party (PT) defeat led the headlines.
Political analyst Geraldo Tadeu Monteiro said the PT took a hard hit.
"If we consider the 27 capitals, the PT won the election in Rio Branco, Acre, and went to the second round only in Recife. So, we have a PT that has almost disappeared in big capitals. If we consider the 92 cities with more than 200,000 voters, the PT also disappeared from all of them. It's really the worst result in the history of PT," he said.
The PT is the party of former President Dilma Rousseff, who was impeached in August. It was the worst hit and lost the country's largest city, Sao Paulo, to its main rival, the centrist Brazilian Social Democrat Party (PSDB), which elected millionaire businessman Joao Doria to be mayor.
Temer's Brazilian Democratic Movement Party (PMDB) lost its longtime hold over the cash-strapped city of Rio de Janeiro, which just held what many considered a successful Olympics.
Instead, a conservative evangelical bishop, Senator Marcelo Crivella, will face a runoff against Marcelo Freixo of the Socialism and Liberty Party (PSOL), a leftist breakaway from the PT, to decide who leads Rio.
Temer reacted to the results in Argentina where he was meeting with President Mauricio Macri. He said he did not do any campaigning.
"But I want to say that, as president, I did not participate in any campaign and you (referring to journalist) know about this because we have a very wide parliamentary base and this parliamentary base, they all have a candidate for mayor in various municipalities in the country, so I did not leave the presidency's living room; I did not film any video, I did not make any political statement, I did not go to any state, not even my state, in the capital of Sao Paulo, I didn't even appear there," he said.
Voters punished the PT, which ruled for 13 years, for holding the presidency during Brazil's biggest political corruption scandal and leading Latin America's largest economy into its worst recession since the 1930s.
"On the one hand, the economic crisis, in a way, has the responsibility of PT, during the President Dilma term. There are also reports of corruption in Lavajato operation, which reached seriously important people connected to the PT. We are talking about Antonio Palocci, Guido Mantega and other exponents of PT who were recently arrested. All this contributed to the PT being saw through elector's eyes as the great responsible one for the economic crisis and the political and social crisis," said Tadeu.
Voters seemed unsurprised by the results.
"Nothing more than expected. Facing all corruption that occurred during the period they were in the government, nothing more than expected," said journalist Alexandra Lima.
"They left a lot to be desired. A lot of wrong things and zero in credibility. To me, zero," said painter Edson Silva.
Sunday's elections were the first held under a ban on corporate campaign financing that was meant to clean up Brazilian politics following the scandal surrounding state-controlled oil company Petrobras that has ensnared dozens of top executives and powerful political figures.
But the new rules, which reduced campaign financing by two-thirds from the presidential election in 2014, instead helped wealthy candidates who were using their personal funds, such as Doria, and candidates backed by Brazil's rapidly expanding evangelical churches.
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