The Brazilian Minister of Health, Luiz Henrique Mandetta, defended this Sunday the postponement of the municipal elections of next October in Brazil to avoid that the actions of the electoral campaign facilitate the expansion of the coronavirus in the country.
Mandetta affirmed that, although the elections will be in October, the candidates will probably not resist calling public acts of electoral proselytizing in the previous months and these agglomerations can facilitate the contagion of COVID-19.
According to the high official, the electoral campaign can provoke a health “tragedy”, which is why he considered it convenient for the National Congress to discuss the matter, postpone the elections and provisionally extend the mandate of the current mayors and councilors throughout the country, which expires next January.
Brazilian voters are convened on October 4 to renew the mayors of the 5,564 municipalities in the country and elect the nearly 56,810 municipal councilors.
The minister suggested the postponement of the elections in a videoconference with mayors from all over the country called by his portfolio to agree on joint measures to combat the coronavirus, which until Saturday had caused 18 deaths in Brazil and infected 1,128 people.
“I am giving an alert. You have to understand each other despite their political differences. That is why I also make a suggestion for you to discuss it. The time has come for Congress to pay attention and say: they must be postponed (the elections),” said Mandetta. in response to a question on the matter made by the mayor of Bethlehem, Zenaldo Coutinho.
“It is necessary to provisionally extend the mandate of mayors and councilors. The election will be a tragedy because everyone will want to campaign politically. I know what I am saying because I am a politician,” added the minister, who has been elected federal deputy for the state of Mato. Grosso do Sul in the last three legislative elections.
Mandetta had already warned on Friday that the forecast is that the number of COVID-19 cases in Brazil will continue to increase exponentially between April and June and only stabilize in October.
“We are going to start April with a rapid rise (in infections) and that rise is going to continue in May and June, when a slowdown trend will begin,” he said then.
According to Mandetta, the forecast is that cases will only start to drop in August and that “a more pronounced drop will occur in September, as happened in China in March. That is the scenario with which the western world is working.”
According to the latest bulletin of the Ministry of Health, the number of deaths in Brazil from COVID-19 jumped 63.63% in one day, from 11 on Friday to 18 on Saturday, and that of confirmed cases of the disease rose by 24, 78%, from 907 on Friday to 1,128 on Saturday.
According to the ministry, the disease has already spread to all 27 states of the country after the confirmation of the first two cases on Saturday in the Amazonian states of Maranhao and Roraima, the only two that were immune.