Pandemic of the new coronavirus already affects pre-campaign for municipal elections in Rio, SP and Minas

RIO AND SÃO PAULO - While the Ministry of Health suggests the postponement of municipal elections due to the new coronavirus, the pandemic has already created difficulties for the main parties to decide their slates and nominates of councilors for the disputes in Rio, in São Paulo and in Minas Gerais. Meetings with supporters are being canceled, prior to the selection of candidates postponed, affiliations made only through the internet and even the settlement of disputes with the Electoral Justice is impaired.

In Rio, the parties assess the need for adaptations during the period of party conventions to choose candidates, between July 20 and August 5, if the Superior Electoral Court (TSE) does not make changes to the electoral calendar. PROS, by the federal deputy and pre-candidate for mayor Clarissa Garotinho, canceled meetings scheduled with supporters from all over the state, which were scheduled for the 28th. PSL, from the state deputy and also pre-candidate Rodrigo Amorim, decided to replace meetings face-to-face by live streams on social networks.

- It is possible that we still have in this period, in the winter, recommendations to avoid agglomerations. The pre-election calendar will certainly have to be discussed again. The parties, for now, are doing this in isolation - said Clarissa.

In the PSDB, the pre-candidate Paulo Marinho stated that the meetings of the state directory started to be held, since last Wednesday, by video calls through a cell phone application. Former Judge Glória Heloíza, a pre-candidate for the PSC, was officially launched in an event closed to the press and broadcast on social media on Monday due to precautions with Covid-19.

The recommendation of isolation due to the pandemic should postpone the definition of the candidacy of federal deputy Marcelo Freixo (PSOL). The party has two other pre-candidates - councilor Renato Cinco and also deputy David Miranda - and he was studying how to run preliminaries.

Patriota, MDB, PL, Avante, PSD and Novo also suspended party events.

Delayed previews

In São Paulo, the PT's municipal administration postponed the preliminaries that will decide the party's candidate in the capital of São Paulo, the city most affected by the new coronavirus.

For federal deputy Júnior Bozzella (PSL-SP), there is already a loss for the pre-campaign and this will impact the electoral process:

- The changes in the electoral calendar are still little discussed, but that calendar is decisive. The damage in this pre-campaign phase is undeniable, due to the measures to contain the coronavirus, as the mobilization power is impaired.

In Minas Gerais, the pre-candidate for mayor of Belo Horizonte, federal deputy Júlio Delgado (PSB-MG), says that many who intend to compete for seats in the chambers are being harmed. The party window for city councilors to change their acronym ends April 4. Those who need to change their electoral domicile, according to him, cannot because the functioning of the electoral registries is affected.

Delgado also recalls that the sector of registration of the Electoral Justice is at a standstill, and many parties with irregularities to be remedied are unable to attend to regularization, as in the case of the PSB of Montes Claros (MG), a municipality of 400 thousand inhabitants.

- The electoral calendar has already started and is being compromised. I would have meetings with several people who want to run for councilor, but I had to switch to video calling due to the isolation. Contacts are very important.

Source: O Globo.

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