Retired Army General Hamilton Mourão rose to fame last year, after defending a military coup if Brazil’s Justice system failed to punish corrupt politicians. Now, he is a vice presidential nominee, running alongside far-right candidate Jair Bolsonaro – another former member of the Brazilian Armed Forces. They are part of a growing phenomenon in Brazil: the increasing military presence on electoral ballots.
Back in February, Mr. Mourão had promised to organize a “military front” for the elections. “We’ll have candidates in a number of – if not all – states. They will all have the same drive: the interests of the nation and of the military men. I’ll be the articulator of that,” he then declared. Now that all candidacies have been submitted to the Superior Electoral Court, we can see that he has delivered on his promise, with twice the number of military candidates as there were four years ago.
While the final numbers are yet to be confirmed, we can estimate that 7 percent of the total amount of candidates running for the executive branch at all levels will be connected to the barracks in some capacity – be they from the Armed Forces, Firefighter Corps, or the Military Police. In 2014, they accounted for roughly 3 percent of the candidate pool.