Salvador: Mayor seeks brand and PT splits for 2024 – 06/10/2023 – Power

Salvador: Mayor seeks brand and PT splits for 2024 – 06/10/2023 – Power

The election for mayor of Salvador, the third largest electoral college in dispute in 2024, is heading towards re-enacting the clash between the PT and União Brasil, parties that have come closer together at the national level, but remain fierce opponents in Bahia.

The political chess until the election, however, may bring surprises with the possible candidacies of Lieutenant Governor Geraldo Júnior (MDB), former Minister João Roma (PL), in addition to the impacts of a PT divided in a backstage dispute between allies Senator Jaques Wagner and Minister Rui Costa, Chief of Staff of the Lula government (PT).

Mayor Bruno Reis (União Brasil) should run for re-election and try to solidify at the polls the ten-year hegemony of the group led by former mayor ACM Neto in the capital. With a smooth management, he works to set his own marks and consolidate his leadership.

Its main assets are an oiled political group with capillarity in the city, a schedule of works to inaugurate until the election and allies in three ministries of the Lula government to seek resources. The history plays in his favor: since 2000, all Salvador’s mayors have been re-elected.

Opponents, on the other hand, predict a tougher dispute for mayoralty, with real chances for the opposition. They assess that the management has problems in areas such as urban public transport and see the mayor under the shadow of ACM Neto.

Reis adopts a speech of dedication to management and avoids talking about re-election. ACM Neto, on the other hand, denies a possible new candidacy for the position, but allies say that he can face the polls in case of weariness of the current mayor. The chances of that happening, however, are seen as remote.

In the opposition field, the choice will have the final word of Governor Jerônimo Rodrigues (PT), who wants a single candidacy in the allied base and with the definition of a name in the coming months.

The group’s strategy, once again, will be to link the candidate’s name to the president, repeating the motto “Lula’s team” that worked in state elections, but failed in the last three municipal disputes in the capital.

At least eight names were presented as possible candidates for the position, but two stand out with greater visibility and are with pre-campaign in the streets: vice-governor Geraldo Júnior and former councilor José Trindade (PSB).

President of Conder, the state-owned government responsible for infrastructure works, Trindade has a history of opposition in his eight years as councilor in his favor. But his political strength comes from his proximity to Minister Rui Costa.

Allies of the governor see this pre-candidacy as an attempt to demonstrate strength by Rui Costa, who is facing a scenario of adversity in Brasília with criticism in Congress and within the government. Asked about the support, Trindade does not talk.

“It is an honor to be remembered [como próximo a Rui Costa]. Who wouldn’t want the support of a minister of Rui’s stature? But this discussion about names is not for now, “he says.

There is an operation to affiliate Trindade to the PT to run for office. But the strategy suffers resistance in the party for being a politician with no trajectory on the left.

Around Senator Jaques Wagner, there is a preference for supporting a candidate from another party or PT organic name, who even in case of defeat creates an alternative for the future.

In April, the executive board of the Salvadoran PT presented sociologist Vilma Reis, state deputy Robinson Almeida and Funarte president Maria Marighella as pre-candidates for the party. Another option within the federation is state deputy Olívia Santana (PC do B).

PT state president, Éden Valadares says that the party can have its own candidate or support an ally, and that the decision on the strategy will be up to Governor Jerônimo. He says that, if the decision is for the PT candidacy, the preference is for an organic name from the party and that presents a left-wing program for the city.

“The affiliation of external cadres, for now, is out of the question”, says Valadares, closing the doors to a possible “surrogacy” in the party.

Since the 2012 election, when he ran against Nelson Pelegrino, the PT has not had a natural name to run for mayor of Salvador. In 2016, they supported federal deputy Alice Portugal (PC do B) and in 2020 they sought a cadre outside the party, the then Major of the Military Police Denice Santiago.

With the exception of 2016, the PT has contested all nine municipal elections in Salvador since redemocratization, but has never elected a mayor in the city. For 2024, however, the party is optimistic and says it is possible to build a competitive name.

Salvador must be one of the priorities of the PT, which is on the way to not having its own candidates in cities like São Paulo, where there is an agreement to support Guilherme Boulos (PSOL), and Rio and Janeiro, where PT members should climb the podium of Mayor Eduardo Paes (PSD).

In Salvador, among the names outside the PT, vice-governor Geraldo Júnior is on the outside as a possible consensus solution. With a history of four terms as councilor, his name has the sympathy of Senator Jaques Wagner and the support of a portion of the business community.

Geraldo says that he will only run if there is unity and claims that a victory in the capital is possible: “There are no favorites, we are going to have a competitive candidate.”

Also cited as possible candidates are federal deputy Lídice da Mata and councilor Silvio Humberto, both from the PSB. The PSOL must have its own candidate: the most quoted is public servant and unionist Kleber Rosa.

In the Bolsonarist field, the pre-candidate is João Roma, Minister of Citizenship in the Jair Bolsonaro (PL) government and candidate for governor defeated in 2022. But there is a chance of composition with Mayor Bruno Reis, even with the recent history of disputes between Roma and ACM Neto.

“I have a desire to be mayor of Salvador, but that is not imperative. More than submitting a candidacy at any cost, we are going to seek to unite forces,” said Roma in an interview with Sheet in April.

The definition must go through the national scenario, which includes the relations between União Brasil and the Lula government, in addition to possible support for PL candidacies in cities in the interior of Bahia.

Another name from the conservative camp is Padre Kelmon (PTB), presidential candidate who had 0.07% of the votes in 2022 and became known for his doubles with Bolsonaro in the debates. He claims that the candidacy in Salvador is a possibility: “Politics is to serve. If the party wants it, I’ll be ready.”

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