- Title: Municipal elections get underway in Brazil
- Date: 2nd October 2016
- Summary: RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL (OCTOBER 02, 2016) (REUTERS) PEOPLE VOTING GENERAL VIEW OF THE VOTING AREA VARIOUS OF PEOPLE VOTING BALLOT BOX (SOUNDBITE) (Portuguese) BRUNO FERNANDES DOS REIS, 65-YEAR OLD ENGINEER, SAYING: "I think the (Workers' Party) will be damaged. All proceedings against them confirm things that we knew that happened independently of the judiciary having been involved. But I think they are damaged goods in these elections because of what they did, (it's) their fault." (SOUNDBITE) (Portuguese) ADAILSON DUARTE LUCENA, 51 YEAR-OLD GATEKEEPER, SAYING: "I didn't vote in the PT (Workers' Party) and I don't vote PT. I do not believe in them. I think the first term of Lula was good, but after that they were very bad." (SOUNDBITE) (Portuguese) MERCEDES DE LOURDES, 67 YEARS-OLD RETIREE, SAYING: "I think it was great. I've been waiting for this a long time. Now, we will see Lula in jail, as soon as possible." ELECTIONS INSPECTOR CHECKING VOTER'S ID VOTER SIGNING THE ELECTIONS ATTENDANCE BOOK ELECTIONS INSPECTOR REGISTERING VOTER'S ATTENDANCE PEOPLE VOTING VARIOUS OF PEOPLE WALKING ON THE STREET PEOPLE ARRIVING TO THE VOTING AREA
- Embargoed: 17th October 2016 16:16
- Keywords: Workers' Party Rio de Janeiro Dilma Rousseff Lula impeachment PT
- Location: RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL
- City: RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL
- Country: Brazil
- Topics: Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA00152BAL37
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:Brazilians began voting on Sunday (October 2) in the first elections since the impeachment of former president Dilma Rousseff - and her leftist Workers Party (PT) is expected to suffer a big setback.
The nation-wide election of mayors and city councils in 5,568 municipalities across Brazil will be a test of support for the country's political parties in the midst of its worst corruption scandal and deepest recession since the 1930s.
Centrist parties allied to Brazil's President Michel Temer, who succeeded Rousseff in August, are expected to do well. Victory, particularly in Brazil's largest cities, would boost the parties as they prepare for the 2018 presidential race.
Voters expressed their expectation of PT's demise.
"I think the (Workers' Party) will be damaged. All proceedings against them confirm things that we knew that happened independently of the judiciary having been involved. But I think they are damaged goods in these elections because of what they did, (it's) their fault," said 65-year old engineer, Bruno Fernandes dos Reis.
"I think it was great. I've been waiting for this a long time. Now, we will see Lula in jail, as soon as possible," said Mercedes de Lourdes, a 67-year old retiree.
Temer's Brazilian Democratic Movement Party (PMDB) is expected to expand its number of mayors. The Brazilian Social Democratic Party (PSDB), the other major centrist force, should win in Sao Paulo, which is a traditional launching pad for national office.
In Sao Paulo, a bastion of anti-Rousseff sentiment, even PT candidates have eschewed the classic red T-shirt of PT supporters to avoid association with the party born in the city's industrial suburbs.
According to ARKO Advice consultancy in Brasilia, the PT will win only one mayoral race in a state capital city, in Rio Branco, in the small state of Acre.
Millionaire businessman Joao Doria is favored to become Sao Paulo mayor, though likely in an Oct. 30 runoff vote, as he is not forecast to win the absolute majority needed for a first-round victory on Sunday. His election would bolster a likely presidential bid in 2018 by the PSDB governor of the state Geraldo Alckmin.
The elections are the first held under a ban on corporate campaign financing that was meant to clean up Brazilian politics following the massive graft scandal surrounding state-controlled oil company Petrobras.
But the new rules have instead helped wealthy candidates who are using their personal funds and conservative candidates backed by evangelical churches.
The elections have generated little enthusiasm among Brazilian voters in a country battling double-digit unemployment and high inflation.
Voting is obligatory in Brazil, but many disenchanted voters would rather not cast any ballot.
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