July 11, 2020

Geraldo Alckmin, the insipid manager who bets on reforms in Brazil



Geraldo Alckmin, of a profile as straight as insipid and lacking in charisma, disputes for the second time a presidential election in Brazil with the flag of economic reforms, the endorsement of the market and the support of a dozen center matches that has not served to be among the favorites.

Alckmin, 65 years old and trained in medicine, specialized in anesthesiology and with extensive experience as a politician, is convinced that he will be in the second round of October 28, in case no candidate gets more than half of the votes on Sunday, and despite the fact that the surveys place him in fourth place with between 8 and 9% of voting intentions.

The candidate for the Party of Social Democracy (PSDB), bland and not very energetic, does not finish finding the formula to win the support of an electorate that already turned its back on him in 2006, when he was defeated by Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva

For these elections, the former governor of Sao Paulo gathered around his candidacy to nine parties, including his, which gave him high visibility in the free electoral propaganda on television, which is still the most influential media in Brazil.

She also called Senator Ana Amélia the formula mate in order to win supporters among conservative voters in the south of the country and based her speech on reforms (political, tax and pension, among others) to reactivate the South American giant.

"Brazil is in a hurry, we are going to make the necessary reforms", Alckmin is accustomed to say, to whom his enemies define him as an extreme conservative linked to Opus Dei.

But his strategy has not been as effective as he expected, no poll has given him more than 10% of sympathy and he has seen how the right-wing voter, to whom he appealed, has ended up in the arms of the far-right Jair Bolsonaro, leader in the polls

Faced with this reality, Alckmin is presented as the option to avoid the past "disasters" of the Workers' Party (PT), which Lula still leads from jail and has Fernando Haddad as a candidate, and escape from "hatred" and "hatred". division ", in allusion to Bolsonaro.

"We can not go to the second round of folly," said the Social Democrat in a recent interview, referring to a possible confrontation between Haddad and Bolsonaro.

Geraldo José Rodrigues Alckmin Filho was born on November 7, 1952 in the municipality of Pindamonhangaba, in the interior of the state of Sao Paulo, and was raised on a farm where his father worked as a veterinarian. With barely ten years old, his mother passed away.

He appeared as a councilman in his hometown at age 19, being the most voted in the contest and at four years became mayor of that town.

In 1979 he married Maria Lúcia Guimarães Ribeiro, with whom he had three children: Sophia, Geraldo and Thomaz, the latter deceased in 2015 victim of a helicopter accident.

His political career continued when he was elected deputy in the Legislative Assembly of Sao Paulo and a federal deputy with the Brazilian Democratic Movement (MDB) party, which today is led by President Michel Temer.

In the Constituent Assembly of 1988, Alckmin already demonstrated against the nationalization of the financial system and throughout all these years he has always pronounced himself in favor of a reduction of the size of the State, the cutting of expenses, and privatizations.

Later, he changed the initials of the MDB to those of the PSDB, which he helped to found, today presides and where he was protected at that time under the protection of Mario Covas, one of the most important Brazilian leaders during the military dictatorship and of great influence in Sao Paulo , the largest electoral college in the country.

In fact, in 1994 became deputy governor of Sao Paulo with Covas as governor, a position he arrived in 2001, when his political mentor died, and he held three non-consecutive terms until in April he embarked on the presidential race again.

At the head of the country's most populous and richest state weathered the economic crisis of 2015 and 2016, delivered several of its star infrastructure projects with years of delay and, like other dozens of politicians in Brazil, was targeted for anti-corruption investigations.

The Prosecutor's Office denounced him in early September for alleged illegal financing during the 2014 election campaign for his reelection as governor of Sao Paulo.

He is accused of having received at least 7.8 million reais (about 2 million dollars) in "caja B" from the Odebrecht construction company, implicated in a huge corruption scandal.

Alckmin, compared years ago with an ice cream of the insipid vegetable "chuchú" for its lack of magnetism and charisma, denies the biggest and focuses on the presidential challenge.

"I believe in the comeback," said the candidate in one of the last debates with his particular tone of voice calm and exaggeratedly parsimonious.

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