Aécio and Dilma to face off in the Senate race: Photo: Ag.FP
senate race brazil 2018 election

Aécio and Dilma to face off in the Senate race: Photo: Ag.FP

Brazil’s Senate is composed of 81 members (three for each state), who are elected to eight-year terms. In 2018, voters will renew two-thirds of the higher chamber of Congress. And while there are some interesting disputes, none will be as exciting as that of Minas Gerais. Dilma Rousseff, who was impeached from the presidency two years ago, could run for a Senate spot – which would pit her against Aécio Neves for the second time.

The Brazilian Report has examined the senatorial race in Brazil’s main states.

Minas Gerais
</h3> <p>It hasn’t been confirmed, but Dilma Rousseff might be on the ballot come October. The impeached former president transferred her electoral domicile from Rio Grande do Sul to Minas Gerais, paving the way for a Senate race. And she would face none other than Aécio Neves, an incumbent senator and runner-up of the 2014 presidential election.</p> <p>The state’s governor, Fernando Pimentel, is among her closest allies. But Rousseff’s potential candidacy has outraged allies, since it complicates previous political deals. In retaliation, MDB pursued an impeachment process against Pimentel, and could <a href="https://www1.folha.uol.com.br/poder/2018/05/assembleia-de-mg-define-etapas-de-tramitacao-de-impeachment-contra-pimentel.shtml">push the process forward</a> if things continue to sour between the two parties.</p> <p>Much has happened since Aécio nearly beat Dilma in the 2014 presidential election. The senator has found himself at the center of <a href="https://brazilian.report/2018/04/18/aecio-neves-alckmin-2018/">multiple corruption cases</a>, and was recorded asking for BRL 2 million from a corrupt business owner. His recent lack of popular approval might even push him to try for a seat in the House.</p> <p><span class="il">Dilma</span>, however, shouldn&#8217;t even be running for office at this moment. By law, impeached politicians lose their political rights for eight years. Apparently, that doesn&#8217;t apply to <span class="il">Dilma</span> Rousseff. At the end of her <span class="il">impeachment</span> process in August 2016, then-Supreme Court Chief Justice Ricardo Lewandowski pulled an unorthodox maneuver to preserve her political rights.</p> <p>He held two votes in the <span class="il">Senate</span> trial, instead of one. The first was to decide whether or not she would be impeached, and the second was to decide if she could maintain her political rights. She won that vote.</p> <h3>São Paulo</h3> <p>The leader in the polls is not yet a candidate. <a href="https://brazilian.report/2017/11/17/luciano-huck-2018-presidential-election/">TV presenter</a> José Luiz Datena is popular for his raw television show that tackles crime and violence. He could run for the right-wing Democrats party (DEM).</p> <p>The race will also include a former couple. Eduardo and Marta Suplicy were married for 37 years and have built their political careers together. Eduardo was a longtime senator for São Paulo until 2014, when he lost the race to the former São Paulo governor José Serra (in 2014, each state elected only one senator).</p> <p>Marta was a Congresswoman during the 1990s and took home the São Paulo mayoral race in 2000, but failed to win reelection. Curiously, she also lost her seat to José Serra. Eight years ago, she won a Senate seat – and will fight for reelection. Marta has lost much of her popularity after leaving the Workers’ Party (where her former husband remains) to join Michel Temer’s MDB.</p> <p>Evangelical bishop and Congressman Marco Feliciano is lagging in the polls, as is incumbent Senator Aloysio Nunes.</p> <div class="infogram-embed" data-id="81a1e762-c1c0-4469-95f0-ae861bb34202" data-type="interactive"></div><script>!function(e,t,s,i){var n="InfogramEmbeds",o=e.getElementsByTagName("script"),d=o[0],r=/^http:/.test(e.location)?"http:":"https:";if(/^\/{2}/.test(i)&&(i=r+i),window[n]&&window[n].initialized)window[n].process&&window[n].process();else if(!e.getElementById(s)){var a=e.createElement("script");a.async=1,a.id=s,a.src=i,d.parentNode.insertBefore(a,d)}}(document,0,"infogram-async","//e.infogram.com/js/dist/embed-loader-min.js");</script> <h3>Rio de Janeiro</h3> <p>Rio’s Senate race is a battle between political clans. Flavio Bolsonaro, a son of the extreme-right wing presidential candidate Jair Bolsonaro, has seized a wave of support for his father to boost his own political career. Apparently, it worked.</p> <p>Flavio Bolsonaro is leading the polls, followed by César Maia, a former Rio de Janeiro mayor (and father of House Speaker Rodrigo Maia). In third comes Martha Rocha, a congresswoman who was in the past the first woman to command Rio’s Civil Police Department. In fourth is Chico Alencar, a longtime left-wing congressman.</p> <p>Incumbent Lindbergh Farias comes only in fifth – and he is currently implicated in several corruption scandals.</p> <div class="infogram-embed" data-id="b7292e31-9c19-42bf-937a-9e54f2c55130" data-type="interactive"></div><script>!function(e,t,s,i){var n="InfogramEmbeds",o=e.getElementsByTagName("script"),d=o[0],r=/^http:/.test(e.location)?"http:":"https:";if(/^\/{2}/.test(i)&&(i=r+i),window[n]&&window[n].initialized)window[n].process&&window[n].process();else if(!e.getElementById(s)){var a=e.createElement("script");a.async=1,a.id=s,a.src=i,d.parentNode.insertBefore(a,d)}}(document,0,"infogram-async","//e.infogram.com/js/dist/embed-loader-min.js");</script> <h3>Rio Grande do Sul</h3> <p>Enjoying popularity among conservatives, Senator Ana Amélia’s reelection bid seems certain. Paulo Paim, a popular Workers’ Party member, will also try for reelection. The two will face heavy competition, however, as José Fortunati, a former mayor of state capital Porto Alegre, and Germano Rigotto, a former governor, have entered the race as well.</p> <p>For now, there are no representative polls in the state.</p> <h3>Bahia</h3> <p>Former governor Jaques Wagner is the favorite in the Bahian Senate race. However, he is also facing several Operation Car Wash-related corruption investigations. Incumbent Lídice da Mata, from the center-left Brazilian Socialist Party (PSB), could take the remaining seat.</p> <p>Antônio Carlos Magalhães Neto, the conservative mayor of Salvador, will be a key player in this election. Coming from the state’s strongest political family, he enjoys robust levels of popularity and could sway the election towards the candidate of his choice.</p> <h3>Pernambuco</h3> <p>Former governor – and former senator – Jarbas Vasconcellos will try to recuperate the seat he lost in 2010, when he ran for governor. A popular name, he is seen as one of the few MDB members that act independently of President Michel Temer’s group.</p> <p>Two of the other competitive candidates might not even make it to the Senate race. Former Minister of Education Mendonça Filho, and incumbent senator Armando Monteiro, are still trying to increase their popularity enough for a shot at the governor’s office.</p> <p><div class="infogram-embed" data-id="0dac31e9-e73e-4bc1-b94a-1cb2076c937a" data-type="interactive"></div><script>!function(e,t,s,i){var n="InfogramEmbeds",o=e.getElementsByTagName("script"),d=o[0],r=/^http:/.test(e.location)?"http:":"https:";if(/^\/{2}/.test(i)&&(i=r+i),window[n]&&window[n].initialized)window[n].process&&window[n].process();else if(!e.getElementById(s)){var a=e.createElement("script");a.async=1,a.id=s,a.src=i,d.parentNode.insertBefore(a,d)}}(document,0,"infogram-async","//e.infogram.com/js/dist/embed-loader-min.js");</script>

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BY The Brazilian Report

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