Overview about Brazilian general elections

Ambassador of Brazil, HE Mr. George Monteiro Prata

The ambassador of Brazil, HE Mr. George Monteiro Prata talked to about 25 members of BNCC regarding the upcoming general elections in Brazil. On October 7th of 2018, Brazil will elect a new President and Vice President, the National Congress, state Governors and Vice Governors and state Legislative Assemblies.

The ambassador started his presentation remembering that Brazil is facing its 7th direct national elections after the fall of military dictatorship. According to ambassador Prata, none of them have been contested, what shows the maturity of the Brazilian democracy. Plus, he reminded that vote is compulsory in Brazil and how the country has adopted an electronic voting system, which counts about 100 million votes with safety in few hours.

The next general elections will choose not only the president but also the members of the Congress. This fact was defined by the Ambassador as highly important to the political system in Brazil, taking into consideration that the support of the Congress is fundamental to the job of the president.

The political campaign has not yet officially started. Therefore that are no official names running for office, although there are a number of “pre-candidates”. Furthermore, the political or economic platforms of the candidates have not been presented. The most influential factor when discussing Brazilian politics today is the corruption investigation “Lava Jato”, aka “Car Wash”. This investigation has affected the political future of many candidates. The “Car Wash” investigation has disrupted all the major parties of Brazil.

The Ambassador divided the pre-candidates in two groups, the leading candidates, and the candidates that are still having less than 5% of vote intentions up to now. The main names are: former Minister of State and former governor of Ceará, Ciro Gomes, considered himself central left; former governor of São Paulo, Geraldo Alckmin, who has run for president twice; then an far right candidate, member of the Congress and former military man, Jair Bolsonaro; an environmentalist and former minister of Environment Marina Silva and, who came in third place on 2014 elections; the last name of this group is likely to be banned from running due to corruption conviction, the former Brazilian president, Luiz Inácio Lula Silva, who is currently in jail.

The case of Lula is still a big mystery to Brazil elections. Although two courts have considered him guilty, his lawyers are claiming that Lula’s convictions were unfair and political motivated. Lula and his party PT have indicated that Lula will fight in top court for the chance of running for President. If this happens, Lula has the highest vote intentions and could win a second-round runoff vote against his opponent.

According to Ambassador Prata, the elections outlook has never been so unclear before. The people is skeptical of choosing between the candidates, because they do not like the options and distrust politicians. So far, according to his point of view, any of the candidates have the chance to win the elections. Plus, he explained that smart alliances would be essential for these elections.

​Another point mentioned by the ambassador is the polarization between the left and right wings and the lack of a central politician representative so far.  Ambassador Prata believes that whoever ends up running for Brazilian leadership will face Brazil’s demand for high priorities, such as endemic corruption and urban insecurity.

After these important considerations, the Ambassador opened a Q&A session to the audience. The discussion was very productive and informative. A new edition of this dialogue will be held in the same format in September. By then, the Ambassador will be able to introduce the real candidates for the general elections and keep bringing insights for the creation of future scenarios regarding businesses and the economic outlook of Brazil.

​By Larissa Costa Slottet, BNCC.