2022 Race

Wilson Lima wins re-election in Amazonas

wilson lima amazonas
Photo: Isac Nóbrega/PR/Wikimedia commons

Amazonas Governor Wilson Lima won re-election on Sunday night. With 94 percent of ballots counted, Mr. Lima had over 56 percent of valid votes — making it impossible for Senator Eduardo Braga, his opponent, to mount any comeback.

The polls had already flagged Mr. Lima as the favorite. Major pollster Ipec, for example, had Mr. Lima at 54 percent of valid votes.

A supporter of President Jair Bolsonaro, Mr. Lima focused on on-the-ground campaigning, both in state capital Manaus and in the countryside. 

Mr. Braga, meanwhile, tried to peg his image on former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. He focused on promises especially in the field of health and development, emphasizing federal programs such as Luz Para Todos, which had the goal of bringing electricity to rural households.

The Amazonas election had the pandemic as background. In January 2021, state capital Manaus ran out of medical oxygen as community transmission of the coronavirus hit untenable levels. Dozens of patients died of suffocation while awaiting treatment. It was the city’s second health system collapse during the pandemic.

In this scenario, Mr. Lima was one of the most contested governors, having been investigated by the Federal Public Ministry and the police. Even Mr. Bolsonaro and members of his government blamed the governor, who continued, however, aligned with the head of the federal executive.

Mr. Lima was also summoned to testify at a Senate inquiry into the country’s Covid response. However, he managed to get rid of it with an injunction from the Federal Supreme Court.

The inclusion of Mr. Lima’s name in the Senate inquiry’s final report appears to have more to do with local political squabbles. Many of the hearings committee members believe state governments are outside of the inquiry’s jurisdiction. 

Moreover, Mr. Lima is already under investigation by the Superior Court of Justice. That said, Mr. Braga threatened to reject the inquiry’s final report if Mr. Lima’s name was not included.