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Rio voters inflict humiliating electoral wipeout on mayor

Rio de Janeiro is rejoicing after voters inflicted a humiliating electoral defeat on a broadly loathed neo-Pentecostal bishop thought of by some to be the worst mayor within the metropolis’s historical past.

Marcelo Crivella, a gospel-singing preacher who has branded homosexuality a “horrible evil” and had shunned Rio’s annual carnival, misplaced in each one of many metropolis’s 49 constituencies in Sunday’s run-off vote.

Observers known as the end result a triumph for variety and a blow to Brazil’s far-right president, Jair Bolsonaro, who had backed Crivella’s marketing campaign.

“Rio is freed from the worst authorities in its historical past – of its most negligent, most unprepared, most prejudiced authorities,” the victor, Eduardo Paes, proclaimed after his landslide win.

“I wish to inform all cariocas [Rio citizens] that in the present day – no matter your religion, orientation or pores and skin color – you’re free,” added Paes, a samba-loving centre-right politician who was mayor from 2009 till 2016.

Many citizens have misgivings about Paes however there was widespread jubilation on Monday as information of Crivella’s disaster sank in.

“He was in all probability our most incompetent mayor in additional than 100 years and on the similar time the least carioca of all of them. So it’s a significant, main, main aid to be rid of him,” mentioned Pedro Doria, a Rio-based creator and editor of the political publication Meio. “This man was a significant reactionary in a metropolis that’s pushed by such a freewheeling spirit.”

Rio newspapers united to brag over the demise of the previous missionary who’s the nephew of the founding father of the controversial Common Church of the Kingdom of God.

Additional declared the bishop’s thrashing a “Common defeat” whereas O Dia celebrated Crivella’s “hiding”. “Not even President Bolsonaro’s help was sufficient to assist Crivella’s marketing campaign take off,” the newspaper mentioned, claiming voters had “chased him out” of the mayoral palace.

O Dia’s columnist and proprietor, Nuno Vasconcellos, hailed voters for snubbing the evangelical mayor’s “false preaching” and mentioned: “[Rio] has rejected the wolf in lamb’s clothes incarnated by Marcelo Crivella”.

O Globo’s political commentator Bernardo Mello Franco mentioned the defeat “had a touch of exorcism about it” and enthused: “2020 can be remembered because the 12 months cariocas freed themselves from Crivella.”

“Not even the town’s best celebration escaped the bishop’s holy battle,” Mello Franco complained of the mayor’s hostility in direction of Rio’s carnival parade, which Crivella by no means attended.

Mello Franco known as Crivella’s “fiasco” a setback to the Common Church’s venture to tighten its already appreciable grip on Brazilian politics by packing the corridors of energy with believers.

Additionally it is a reverse for Bolsonaro, who publicly endorsed Crivella as a method of thwarting the “toxic” left.

In one marketing campaign advert, Crivella – who critics declare ruled for cronies and churchgoers, not the town as a complete – clutched Bolsonaro’s hand and declared: “The president of Brazil has given me a mission and I’ll fulfil it.”

“God is with us,” Bolsonaro replied.

“Amen,” mentioned Crivella.

Rio was not the one metropolis to reject Bolsonarian chauvinism in Sunday’s second-round vote amid rising indicators some Brazilians are tiring of their president’s incendiary type.

São Paulo elected Bruno Covas, a centre-right member of one of many metropolis’s most well-known political dynasties.

“The times of denialism and obscurantism are numbered. São Paulo has mentioned ‘Sure’ to science and moderation,” Covas informed supporters in an unmistakable reference to Bolsonaro’s anti-scientific dealing with of the Covid-19 epidemic. Greater than 172,000 Brazilians have been killed by a illness Bolsonaro has dismissed as a “little bit of a chilly”.

Professional-Bolsonaro candidates have been additionally defeated within the cities of Belém and Fortaleza. Within the election’s first spherical a fortnight in the past, Bolsonaro-backed candidates misplaced in cities together with Manaus, Recife and Belo Horizonte.

The Employees’ celebration (PT) of Bolsonaro’s leftwing nemisis, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, additionally fared badly, failing to win management of a single state capital for the primary time since democracy returned in 1985.

One other leftwing pressure, the Socialist and Liberty celebration (Psol), seems to be filling a part of the void, with its 38-year-old candidate, Guilherme Boulos, selecting up greater than 2m votes in São Paulo.

“This wasn’t our election,” Boulos informed supporters from the rooftop of his residence, the place he’s recovering from Covid-19, “however we’ll prevail.”

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