Brazil: first assessment of the municipal elections

By AlternativaSocialista-PSOL / ISL-Brasil.

Sunday 15 was marked by the elections of mayors and councilors in almost all of the Brazilian municipalities. A significant part of the legitimate children of Bolsonaro stepped back and their national political project was defeated. The PSOL broadened and the right together with the center-right won in great part of the municipalities, in the absence of a left-wing alternative to the government. Here we bring a first assessment.

The legitimate children of Bolsonaro were shaken in the municipal elections. The genocidal Bolsonaro appealed to a direct campaign of “his own kind” but it did not work. Defeat arrived. In Sao Paulo, the disgusting Russomano did not pass the second round, coming up in 4th place. In Rio de Janeiro, the current mayor of Crivella, candidate of Bolsonaro and creator of the Universal Church, passes to the second round, but under Eduardo Paes (DEM) with a difference of 15%. This also shows the mistake of Freixo in giving up his candidacy to the municipality and abandoning the political conflict in the government of the second most important city of the country.

The bourgeois press, pro traditional right, took advantage of the moment and informed that out of almost 60 candidacies that Bolsonaro supported with a direct campaign, few were elected, among mayors (two in the first round in smaller cities) and 10 councilors. Two candidates, Crivela in Rio de Janeiro and Capitán Wagner in Fortaleze, go for the second round facing big bourgeois electoral machines of the right and center-left, Eduardo Paes and Sarto respectively.

There is no doubt about Bolsonaro’s bleeding. However, it is important to highlight, like we already did in previous analysis (click here:, that electoral victories were focused on the right and center-right, which directly negotiate with Bolsonaro, some few Bolsonarists and part of the “great bourgeois accord”.  The MDB was elected in 755 cities; PP, 666; PSD, 631; PSDB, 486; DEM, 450 and PL, 335. Republicans, the seal that Bolsonarism used as an umbrella, won in 202 cities, and the PTB in 204, remaining behind the center-left parties PDT (304) and PSB (245). The PT won in 179 cities, although without any capital on the first round, with a decline when compared to the previous elections of 2016.

The PSOL in the elections

As expected, the PSOL grew electorally in the municipal chambers and was elected in 4 municipalities. In Sao Paulo, besides the political victory of Boulos, who will go to the second round against the ex-Bolso Doria candidate in a historical result, the party tripled the number of councilors and became the third force in the Chamber. In Rio de Janeiro, the councilor Carlos Bolsonaro, first place in the elections of 2016, got the second place behind Tarcísio Mota (PSOL) – having overall 7 councilors elected.

In Sao Paulo, Guilherme Boulos won more than a million votes in a historical campaign that left the Bolsonarist Russomano and the toucan out of the nest of Mario França, biting the dust. This is a qualitative political victory for the PSOL in the biggest center of the country. In this second round we need a radical alternative program to exit the crisis that expresses the struggles that our class has been fighting, synthetizing in the struggles and on the streets for “Fora Bolsonaro y Mourão”. The debates we have been holding in the PSOL with Boulos and the current majority leadership are at the current time. Now is the time we need to strengthen an independent political and socialist tool of struggle together with the bases.

In the Belem, Edmilson will once again pass to the second round with a slightly higher vote than in 2016, but this time in the first place. He will face the reactionary Delegado Eguchi. From Socialist Alternative and the ILS, we actively participated in the city, joining to the strengthening of the candidacy of the comrade Silvia Leticia and Luta Socialista, supporting an important, classist and socialist reference of the struggle of working and fighting women. The PSOL must give their all in this campaign, leaving behind that broad profile removed from all combativeness and that goes for “the dialogue”. The way is to radicalize and try to capture the sectors that do not yet see in Edmilson, or in the PSOL, a tool of struggle against the governments of austerity and war against the people.

In Florianopolis, Professor Elson occupied the second place, with 18.13% of the votes, apart from 3 candidates elected as councilors. In Belo Horizonte, Áurea Carolina obtained 8.33% and the party elected 2 councilors. In Porto Alegre, the PSOL elected 4 councilors, also growing in other capitals.

It is very important to highlight that the PSOL, with small campaigns compared to the millionaires, was able to increase the number of offices, collective and individual, especially with women that fight and a considerable part of the black and LGBT youth. The time has come for the bloc of diversity to focus its strength in going forward against the government of Bolsonaro. The women and LGBT movement, together with the rise of the anti-racism struggle, grows and becomes stronger in this electoral battle, showing the vitality of those processes of struggle.

The problems with TSE and abstention

Part of the attention was directed towards the confusion in the system of the Superior Electoral Tribunal (TSE), delaying the disclosure for hours in several municipalities of the country. Luis Roberto Barroso, president of the TSE, attributed to the problem the failure of one of the processing centers. Barroso also cited the attempts to invade computers originated in the United States, New Zealand and Brazil, all counteracted, he said.

The abstentions, mainly due to the pandemic of Covid-19 with more than 160.000 deaths and almost 6 million infected, increased compared to the elections of 2016, going from 17.58% to 23.14%. In Sao Paulo, there were more than 2.6 million abstentions, more than the votes obtained by Covas, 1.7 million, and Boulos, 1.07 million. In Rio De Janeiro, there were 1.5 million abstentions, more than the combined votes of Paes and Crivella.

The PSOL must have an alternative

The advance of the PSOL is truly positive. However, it is necessary to pay attention to the shift increasingly more present in the alliances with bourgeois parties, to the refined tactic of the Popular Front and the underuse of the electoral space in the campaign of Fora Bolsonaro and Mourão. This road may not have return.

It is not possible to defeat the government of Bolsonaro and the far-right movements through the electoral way. It is important to make that clear. Socialists must boost the mobilization on the streets against this government of hunger, unemployment, unpopular reform, murders, destruction and, at the same time, present a radical program to exit the crisis that crushes Bolsonaro.  That is why Socialist Alternative continues to choose the building of a Bloc of the Radical Left in the PSOL in the way of setting up the party we need to go forward in a socialist society, leaving behind the barbarism that the capital offers us as the only possible future.