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Numbers of the week: Nov. 14, 2020

. Nov 14, 2020
gdp numbers pix mayors

This is Brazil by the Numbers, a weekly digest of the most interesting figures tucked inside the latest news about Brazil. A selection of numbers that help explain what is going on in Brazil. This week: new mayors to be elected, Impeachment requests against the president, Brazil in the top 10 most unequal countries, war threats between Brazil and U.S. and more.

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5,568 new mayors

On November 15, Brazilian voters will choose new mayors and city councilors in 5,568 municipalities.

Elections usually take place in October, but Congress delayed the vote as a result of the coronavirus crisis — the Brazilian election system only allows for in-person voting, which represents a health hazard during a pandemic. </p> <p>The only exception will be the northern state of Amapá, which has suffered with <a href="https://brazilian.report/society/2020/11/10/cut-off-amapa-state-endures-week-without-electricity/">power outages</a> for nearly two weeks. Water supplies and telecommunications services have been disrupted, and protests broke out in several cities. Fearing violence and chaos, authorities decided to postpone the election — but a date has yet to be settled.</p> <hr class="wp-block-separator"/> <h2>1 in 4 undecided voters</h2> <p>One-quarter of voters have yet to decide who they are voting for on Sunday. That could suggest that conservative candidates will be favored to see election day bumps — but it doesn’t mean Mr. Bolsonaro will play kingmaker this time around. Candidates backed by him in key constituencies are polling low and some could miss out second-round runoffs altogether. The number is higher among voters who approve of Jair Bolsonaro (77 percent have made their picks) as compared to those who reject him (66 percent).</p> <hr class="wp-block-separator"/> <h2>53 impeachment requests against Bolsonaro</h2> <p>News agency <a href="https://apublica.org/impeachment-bolsonaro/">Agência Pública</a> examined all impeachment requests against President Jair Bolsonaro. Of the 53 petitions sent to House Speaker Rodrigo Maia, only one has been analyzed, and swiftly dismissed. A total of 1,458 persons and organizations have sponsored the impeachment requests.</p> <p>It is worth remembering that the Speaker holds all the power to block or open impeachment proceedings against the sitting president, which is why Mr. Bolsonaro is committed to getting a close ally elected as Speaker in 2021, even considering taking Agriculture <a href="https://brazilian.report/newsletters/brazil-weekly/2020/10/13/forget-mayors-house-speaker-election-race-counts/">Minister Tereza Cristina</a> out of the cabinet to run for the job.</p> <hr class="wp-block-separator"/> <h2>9th most unequal country in the world</h2> <p>According to the World Bank, Brazil remains the <a href="https://www.correiobraziliense.com.br/economia/2020/11/4888360-brasil-continua-sendo-9-pais-mais-desigual-do-mundo-diz-ibge.html?utm_source=push&amp;&amp;utm_medium=push">ninth-most unequal country</a> in terms of income distribution. A recent report highlighted the substantial worsening of poverty levels between 2012 and 2019, with 13.5 percent of people living on less than USD 1.90 per day (from 6.5 percent in 2012). Inequality in the country is also seen across regions. The study shows that 56.8 percent of the people below the line of extreme poverty last year lived in the Northeast region.</p> <hr class="wp-block-separator"/> <h2>0 nuclear weapons</h2> <p>This week, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro threatened Washington with the use of “<a href="https://brazilian.report/cartoons/2020/11/12/when-the-saliva-runs-out-there-must-be-gunpowder/">gunpowder</a>” if U.S President-elect Joe Biden was to interfere with Brazil’s environmental policies. The president has reportedly admitted he went over the top — especially when we compare the firepower of the two countries. While Brazil has only 437 tanks and 334,000 active soldiers, the U.S. Armed Forces have at their disposal 6,200 tanks and 1.4 million men and women — making up for a <a href="https://www.globalfirepower.com/">defense budget</a> 27 times bigger than Brazil&#8217;s. And of course, Brazil has no nuclear weapons, compared to roughly 5,800 for the U.S.</p> <hr class="wp-block-separator"/> <h2>President approval rating falls 7 points</h2> <p>Recent polls show that support for President Bolsonaro could be eroding. A PoderData survey shows the percentage of voters who <a href="https://brazilian.report/podcast/2020/10/21/podcast-electoral-calculations-around-covid-19-vaccine/">approve of his administration</a> fell from 52 percent last month to 45 percent now. A few factors may explain the reversal of the trend. In recent months, the coronavirus <a href="https://brazilian.report/power/2020/08/20/what-happens-when-brazils-coronavirus-emergency-aid-ends/">emergency salary</a> has been halved from its original monthly payments of BRL 600 (USD 110). 

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Ariádne Mussato

Ariadne Mussato is a social media expert

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