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More than half of the presidents of the capital’s city councils have changed parties ahead of the 2024 elections


Motivated by campaign fund dues, 13 of the 26 councilors who lead the capitals’ legislature changed their acronym to participate in October’s elections; None of them belong to the PT, which encounters difficulties in renewing personnel and overcoming “nationalized thinking”

BRASILIA – More than half of the capitals’ city council presidents joined new parties during the electoral window, which allowed parliamentarians to leave their parties without losing their legislative mandate between March 7 and April 5. The changes concern the October elections and have favored the conservative and centrist parties, which will have the majority of the resources of the electoral fund.

According to a survey conducted by political consultancy Radar Governmental, 13 of the 26 councilors who run legislatures in major US cities have changed their acronym within 30 days. Most of them are expected to run for re-election and only one will run for the majority mayor position in October.

The changes occurred in the cities of Aracaju (SE), Belo Horizonte (MG), Boa Vista (RR), Florianópolis (SC), João Pessoa (PB), Macapá (AP), Maceió (AL), Manaus (AM) , Natal (RN), Porto Alegre (RS), Porto Velho (RO), Rio Branco (AC) and Vitória (ES).

Experts consulted by Estadao they believe that the movements are driven by the interest of parliamentarians in the parties that will hold the largest shares of the electoral fund. The budget for this year’s elections will be R$4.9 billion. According to a survey carried out by political scientists Henrique Cardoso Oliveira and Jaime Matos, of the 1º de Maio Foundation, five parties will accumulate 57% of the public money intended for financing electoral campaigns.

According to the coordinator of the Parties, Elections and Comparative Politics Laboratory (Lappcom) Mayra Goulart, the main effect of the change in parties is a concentration of political forces in acronyms that have greater chances of victory and ability to articulate. “This ends up making the scenario more difficult for smaller subs.”

“When we look at these migrations on a case-by-case basis, we see an expansion of parties that are considered centrist. These parties are the ones that offer greater breadth in the transactions and articulations that politicians can make with other politicians from different parties and ideological segments,” Goulart said.

Two of the 13 councilors who changed parties are now part of the acronyms where the mayors of the municipalities are found. The president of the Maceió legislature, Galba Netto, was in the MDB, owned by governor Paulo Dantas, and went to the PL, owned by mayor João Henrique Caldas. The head of the Rio Branco Chamber, Raimundo Neném, left the PSB and joined Mayor Tião Bocalom’s PL. Both Caldas and Bocalom are running for re-election in municipalities this year.

Affiliated with PSB since 2020, Neném said Estadao which left the acronym, owned by Vice President Geraldo Alckmin, and migrated to the PL, owned by former President Jair Bolsonaro solely for ideological reasons. According to the MP he has never been a “socialist” and identifies himself as a “liberal” and supporter of the former president.

“I did not identify with the PSB, which is socialist, and I looked for a center-right party. Furthermore, the position of former president Jair Bolsonaro is a very firm position and it is very nice to work with him. For me, I feel a real liberal,” he said.

According to Tália Félix, consultant at Government Radar, the migration of councilors towards right-wing parties in the party window also represents an “accentuation of the strength of conservatism” for this year’s campaigns. “It can be considered the continuation of what happened in the 2022 elections, where the largest conservative group in history was elected,” she explains.

Two other councilors who preside over capital legislatures have migrated to governors’ parties. In Aracaju, Ricardo Vasconcelos left Rede Sustentabilidade and joined the PSD, led by the governor of Sergipe, Fábio Mitidieri. Already in Manaus, Caio André left Podemos and joined União Brasil, owned by Amazonas chief executive Wilson Lima.

In Belo Horizonte, the president of the Chamber, Gabriel Azevedo, has joined the MDB, an acronym with which he will run for command of the capital of Minas Gerais in October. He has been without a party since 2021, when he left Patriota (current PRD). To the Estadaothe MP said he chose the party because he considered it the “best way” to obtain the mayor’s office.

“My party choice occurred in the context of the mayoral election of Belo Horizonte. Several parties offered me the opportunity to unite to run for mayor. The MDB approached me in a very united way here in the state”, Azevedo said.

Only five of the 26 presidents belong to left-wing parties and none to the PT

Only five of the 26 presidents of the capital’s chambers belong to left-wing parties, but none belong to President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva’s PT. The progressive camp is represented by two councilors from the PSB, two from the PDT and one from the PCdoB.

Even though it holds the second largest share of the electoral fund, with 604 million reais allocated by the 1º de Maio Foundation, Lula’s party has not been able to benefit from the entry of a president. Professor Mayra Goulart explains that the PT’s “nationalized thinking” ends up alienating local interests from city councilors.

“The local politician needs a greater degree of autonomy, to get closer to politicians who have different ideological aspects. When you are in a party like the PT, which has a very nationalized thought and a very strong ideological imprint, this margin of autonomy has decreased. This is why the parties that have gained the most in the party window have been acronyms such as MDB and PP”, explained Goulart.

For Camila Rocha, the absence of the PT in command of the Chambers reflects a difficulty in the emergence of new politicians in the party. Citing federal deputy Nikolas Ferreira (PL-MG), who was a city councilor in Belo Horizonte before becoming the most voted federal deputy in the 2022 elections, the political scientist explains that many names appear on the council.

“There is difficulty in going beyond the results of the presidential elections. There is a need to become more rooted in the territories and elect more parliamentarians. This is a historic difficulty for the Workers’ Party”, explains Rocha.

The PT also has no mayors in charge of the capitals. This year the acronym seeks to change the scenario, with 11 candidates in the seat of the state executive. Although it has competitive names in some cities, none of them are leading in election polls or favored at the moment, which reinforces the difficulty the party faces in training new leaders.

Source: Terra

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