A man casts his vote during the municipal elections’ first round at a school in Sao Bernardo do Campo, 25 kilometers south of Sao Paulo, Brazil, on October 2, 2016. (Photo by AFP)
Brazil’s leftist Workers’ Party (PT), whose officials have been caught in the massive Petrobras scandal, has suffered a major blow in municipal elections in the country’s biggest city, Sao Paulo.
Joao Doria from the centrist Brazilian Social Democrat Party (PSDB) won Sao Paulo’s mayor seat with 53 percent of the votes, defeating Fernando Haddad from the PT of sacked president Dilma Rousseff.
On Sunday, local elections were held for choosing mayors and city governments across 5,568 municipalities in Brazil, in the first polls since the ouster of Rousseff.
Rousseff was ousted from presidency in late August by the Senate for what is said to be violating federal budget regulations.
It was the first landslide victory since 1992 in Sao Paulo, where mayoral elections used to go to run-off.
“It was a clear sign of dissatisfaction of the voters, mainly in Sao Paulo and southeastern Brazil,” said political analyst Luciano Dias, a partner in the Brasilia-based consultancy firm CAC.
Former Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff, of the leftist Workers’ Party, arrives at a polling station in Porto Alegre, state of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, on October 2, 2016. (Photo by AFP)
Several officials who served in the last two governments have been arrested as part of a massive probe into the corruption scandal engulfing Petrobras, the state-owned oil company.
Moreover, Brazilian Democratic Movement Party (PMDB) of Rousseff’s successor Michel Temer lost its control of the city of Rio de Janeiro. Temer has also been drawn in Petrobras scandal.
There will be a run-off in the city between Senator Marcelo Crivella, a conservative evangelical bishop, and the leftist Socialism and Liberty Party (PSOL)’s Marcelo Freixo.
The polls come as former president, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, the 70-year-old co-founder of the powerful Workers Party, is set to stand trial for accepting bribes in connection with the same scandal.