Despite the fact that spheres of power in Brazil are still dominated mainly by older, wealthy, white, heterosexual men, this year's municipal elections shook this historically exclusive system. In different parts of the country, transsexuals, black, indigenous people and quilombola (members of farming communes founded by former slaves) women have won unprecedented victories in city councils and even the command of city halls, with very expressive voting tallies.
In the case of the LGBTQI + community, attention was drawn to the election of dozens of transsexual women to seats in city council chambers of important cities. For example in Aracaju, the Sergipe state capital, Linda Brasil, was the most voted for city councilor, obtaining 5,773 votes. Professor Duda Salabert, is a transvestite and obtained more than 37 thousand votes in Belo Horizonte, the Minas Gerais state capital, coming first among the elected councilors. In all, 25 trans candidates were elected last Sunday, an increase of more than 200% compared to the 2016 elections, according to data from the National Association of Transvestites and Transsexuals (Antra).
In São Paulo, the country’s largest city and capital of a state with the same name, another trans woman, Erika Hilton, won over 50 thousand votes and, at the age of 27, became the most voted woman among those elected over the weekend for the city council spots in the municipality. Another noteworthy candidate who will also occupy a seat in the São Paulo parliament, is Tammy Miranda, a trans man, son of famous Brazilian singer Gretchen, who obtained more than 43 thousand votes with a platform focused on LGBTQI + rights.
Black women in Parliament
The rise of black women was also one of the striking aspects of Sunday's election. In Porto Alegre, elected city councilor Karen Santos was the most voted for in the Rio Grande do Sul state capital with 15,702 votes. Along with her, three other black women were also elected: Laura Sito, Bruna Rodrigues and Daiana Santos. They are joined by Matheus Gomes, a young black man, together forming the wing of racial representation in the city.
In Recife, another black woman, Dani Portela, from the left-wing PSOL party, garnered 14,114 votes and was the most voted for candidate in the elections. Benny Briolly, 29, is a black transsexual woman, got 4,458 votes, and will be inaugurated to a term in the Niterói city council, part of the Rio de Janeiro metropolitan area. Another who made history was retired public servant Ana Lúcia Martins, elected as the first black councilwoman in the history of Joinville, a city in the state of Santa Catarina.
In Curitiba (PR), Professor Carol Dartora was also the first black councilman elected in the history of the city, and will be joined in the assembly by young black lawyer Renato Freitas, who defends agendas related to the youth and the periphery in the capital of the state of Paraná.
In Vitória, the capital of the state of Espírito Santo, two other black women were elected among the 10 most voted candidates in the city: Camila Valadão (PSOL), in second position with 5,625 votes, and Karla Coser of the Workers’ Party (PT), in seventh with 1,961 votes. In Rio de Janeiro, Tainá de Paula (PT) was elected with 24,881 votes and ranks ninth among the most voted in the state capital. In Cuiabá, the capital of Mato Grosso, black women will be represented by Edna Sampaio (PT), the eighth most voted candidate, with 2,902 votes.
The anti-racist and feminist wave also reached Brazil’s north. In Belém, the state capital of Pará, black candidate Vivi Reis (PSOL) was the fifth most voted person in the city council race, with 9,654 votes in the city.
Quilombolas and Indigenous people
Historical results were also obtained by traditionalist populations in the municipal elections, such as quilombola communities. In Cavalcante, in the state of Goiás, a municipality that houses the largest quilombola region in the country, known as the Kalunga Territory, Vilmar Kalunga was elected mayor, a feat unprecedented in the community’s history. In Alcântara, located in the state of Maranhão, Nivaldo Araújo, another quilombola, will serve as deputy mayor.
According to the National Coordination of the Articulation of Black Rural Quilombola Communities (Conaq), another 56 quilombolas were elected in various states of Brazil this Sunday for councilor positions.
Preliminary data from the Superior Electoral Court (TSE) indicates that eight mayors of indigenous origin were elected last Sunday, in the first round of municipal elections. The number is already greater than that registered in the first round of 2016, when the total number of natives elected as mayors was six, a growth of 33%.
In Roraima, for example, two candidates for indigenous mayors were successful at the polls: Tuxaua Benisio (Rede) and Professor Jeremias (PROS) were chosen mayor and vice mayor by 42.49% of voters in Uiramutã. In Normandy, Dr. Raposo, a 42-year-old Macuxi native, was elected mayor by the PSD.
In a note, the Articulation of Indigenous Peoples of Brazil (Apib), informs that a total of 159 candidates from 47 indigenous peoples had been elected in the first round of municipal elections. They are positions in the Executive and Legislative branches of 81 cities in 21 states, in all regions of the country.
According to the organization, 2020 was the year with the highest indigenous participation in the polls, with 2,177 candidates in the country's 5,568 municipalities, representing a 27% increase compared to the 2016 elections. Apib itself launched the campaign Indigenous Campaign (@campanhaindigena), an initiative to expand indigenous representation in spaces of power through visibility and legal support for male and female candidates.
The partial data obtained by the campaign indicate that of the 159 elected, 145 are from indigenous elected to city councils, eight to city halls and six to vice-mayor positions.
Edited by: Rogério Jordão