Elected mayors face big challenges in major Brazilian cities

Persistent bottlenecks in sanitation, health, and education have been made even more pressing by the coronavirus pandemic

mayors bruno covas
Mayor Bruno Covas of São Paulo: four more years. Photo: R Voltan/Shutterstock

Municipal elections finally came to an end in some of Brazil’s biggest cities this evening, as runoff votes decided who will be sworn in as mayor on January 1. There is an argument, however, that victory in this weekend’s elections is a poison chalice for the new mayors-elect. The Covid-19 pandemic has served to lay Brazil’s social challenges bare, and the incoming municipal leaders will face immense tests over the next four years.

Despite polls on the campaign home stretch suggesting that we were set for nail-biting vote counts, there were few surprises on Election Day. In São Paulo,...

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