The political movement for the succession of the Palácio da Guanabara has already started. The election is only next year, but the chessboard is already being designed with several possibilities for the election dispute in the state of Rio de Janeiro.
In addition to the governor Claudio Castro (PL), candidate for reelection, some names such as federal deputy Marcelo Freixo (PSB); the former mayor of Niterói, Rodrigo Neves (PDT) and the current president of the Brazilian Bar Association (OAB), Felipe Santa Cruz, who may run for election next year for the PSD, are among the main possibilities in the race for command of the state of Rio de Janeiro.
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O Brazil in fact spoke with Darlan Montenegro, political scientist and professor at the Federal Rural University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRRJ) about the political scenario, the candidacies that present the greatest chance and the challenges for those who occupy the position of governor of Rio.
In Montenegro’s opinion, federal deputy Marcelo Freixo is one of the favorite names in the progressive camp. Well-rated in the latest polls, Freixo has been seeking to build broader alliances to defeat Pocketnarism in Rio de Janeiro. The challenge for the congressman, according to the political scientist, is to win over an electorate that is not familiar with his agenda.
“It needs to enter sectors that, in general, are refractory to certain issues to which it is historically related, such as policies relating to minorities, on the one hand, and the defense of human rights, on the other. The right explores this a lot, saying that the defense of minorities is the destruction of the family and that defending human rights is defending criminals. Freixo needs to be able to rebuild his image in relation to these issues”, he explains.
For the researcher, the candidacy of the former mayor of Niterói, Rodrigo Neves (PDT), also has potential in the progressive field, but with limited reach in the state, mainly because it is linked to Ciro Gomes (PDT).
“The main limitation of Rodrigo Neves is that he has been associated with the presidential candidacy of Ciro Gomes, while Freixo has a very high probability of being the candidate of former president Lula, who is running for election next year. And Lula leads all polls with ample advantage. He [Rodrigo] is a name with a chance. Depending on national arrangements, it may even become the main progressive candidate in Rio, but it is difficult, most likely, it will be Freixo”, points out the professor at UFRRJ.
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Montenegro also draws attention to the political movement of the mayor of Rio de Janeiro, Eduardo Paes (PSD). According to the researcher, it is unlikely that Paes will run for election to the government of Rio, but the chief executive of the capital is highly popular and his support could strengthen candidates.
“Eduardo Paes’ position matters because he is popular and will influence the process. The candidate supported by him tends to be a candidate with some strength. Now, probably, if it’s really Felipe Santa Cruz, he’ll hardly be the favorite, but he could have strength and surprise too, because he has the machine, he has the mayor”, comments Montenegro, who still speculates for Paes’ position in a possible second shift.
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“Paes’ movement is decisive, mainly because of some kind of agreement he can make with deputy Marcelo Freixo, which can be decisive for a victory for the congressman. An agreement that may be very difficult in the first round, but in the second, it can obviously depend on who the other competitor is”, he points out.
The state of Rio is experiencing an economic crisis that was aggravated by the pandemic. According to the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE), unemployment in Rio is 19.4%, higher than the national average, which adds up to 14.7%.
In early August, a report from Brazil in fact presented the main problems of the state in recent years caused by the crises in the oil sector, naval industry and civil construction that were crucial for the reduction of formal jobs.
For Montenegro, in addition to the socioeconomic problems faced by the next name to take over the Guanabara Palace, there is the challenge of fighting organized crime that has affected Rio’s politics.
“A governor from the progressive countryside will mainly face the difficulties of the economic crisis, unemployment, poverty that has spread throughout Brazil, but the state of Rio has been particularly affected and will have to face the presence of organized crime in politics, this is a very complicated issue in Rio de Janeiro politics”, he assesses.
Source: BoF Rio de Janeiro
Edition: Mariana Pitasse