Brazil: Lula Helping a Sí£o Paulo Friend

    Paulo Maluf (PP) has promised if he gets elected mayor of São Paulo there’s going to be a whole package of goodies for the people: “There’s going to be viaducts, bridges, expressways. We have 29 planned projects. I’m going to know the organogram and cost-benefit of each one and show [how I’ll spend] the budget with maps”.

    by Guy Burton

    One person who isn’t happy though, is the city’s Archbishop,
    Dom Claudio Hummes, who complained about the use of his image in Maluf’s
    campaign material. He claims not to have authorized the use of his image in the
    TV ad.

    Elsewhere, the current mayor, Marta Suplicy (PT), has been
    given a helping hand by the Government (also PT). An arrangement has been
    reached whereby the city’s debts to the federal government will be repaid on the
    30th of each month rather than the 3rd, thereby easing financial pressures
    brought about by honouring other payments. According to the Folha de S.
    Paulo
    daily, this change in the law was made at the beginning of last month.

    This other Folha article alleges the change was made to
    help Marta in an election year, which of course they deny. The paper also talks
    to the financial secretary of Salvador, another city with a big federal debt. He
    said he was surprised the change in the law had been brought about.

    Elsewhere there was analysis of the TV ads used by the
    candidates on Friday night. Erundina (PSB) used the opportunity to condemn a
    attack on 10 homeless people, four of whom were killed last week.

    Perhaps trying to remind the voters of his previous job as
    Health Minister, José Serra (PSDB) encouraged Paulistanos to get their
    children vaccinated (in what seemed more like a health broadcast than a party
    political one according to the Folha).

    He also got the São Paulo state governor, Geraldo Alckmin (also
    PSDB) into the material, to lend support. Alckmin currently has a 51% approval
    rating.

    Marta (PT) used her Saturday spot which had residents
    commenting favourably on her education policies. Maluf, meanwhile, put his wife,
    Sylvia, up. “He’s always been a marvelous child, a marvelous husband, father and
    exceptional grandfather.”

    Strains of British Tory party leader Michael Howard, putting up
    his former model wife in a bid to banish the ‘something of the night’?

    The challengers all seem to be feeling the heat. Along with the
    Church’s criticism of Maluf, Serra must also be wondering whether his TV ads
    will make the difference.

    At the end of last week one of the smaller parties in his
    electoral coalition, the Erundina’s website was attacked by the company which
    was maintaining it, following the change in the campaign’s managers after the
    disastrous poll earlier this month.

    The sites, http://www.luizaerundina.com.br and
    http://www.erundina.com.br/, now run messages to this effect, meaning that only
    http://www.luizaerundina40.can.br/ is untouched.

    There’s a saying that people from São Paulo are serious and
    work hard, while cariocas (people from Rio de Janeiro) have more fun. And it
    would seem that way from the latest TV campaigns up there.

    Even though the Liberal Front (PFL) candidate and present
    incumbent, Cesar Maia, looks odds on to win (41% of the poll), that hasn’t
    stopped the publicity being more entertaining than those in São Paulo.

    The Folha reports that while Maia has been droning on
    about the achievements in his administration, the PT candidate has been
    admitting that he suffers from a charisma deficit while the Liberal candidate
    (PL), Marcello Crivella, decided to treat the voters to a song during his spot.

    I just hope it was nothing like the contribution that US
    Attorney General John Ashcroft has made to the musical canon…


    For
    much more about the coming São Paulo election visit Guy Burton and Andrew
    Steven’s blog at http://www.saopaulo2004.blogspot.com

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