At the end of October, the directorship of the Socialism and Freedom Party (PSOL) in Pernambuco released the names of its pre-candidate to the Federal Senate and the three possible names for the State Government dispute in 2022. The deadline for militants to demonstrate interest in the majority candidacies was defined at the party’s state congress, held months ago. Now the acronym intends to hammer out the name for the Executive until December, while the slates for the positions of federal and state deputy remain open until mid-June.
The names quoted for the dispute for the Government of Pernambuco are Ivan Moraes Filho, João Arnaldo and Paulo Rubem Santiago. Ivan Moraes is a journalist, he worked for many years in NGOs with popular education projects in communication, but he also took on other struggles, being elected councilor of Recife in 2016, re-elected in 2020; João Arnaldo is a lawyer, was superintendent of Ibama in Pernambuco, was already affiliated with the PT and in 2020 he was a candidate (by the PSOL) for vice-mayor on the ticket headed by Marília Arraes; and Paulo Rubem Santiago is an educator and was a federal deputy for three terms (2003-2014), for the PT and for the PDT, with outstanding work in defense of education.
In an interview with Brazil in fact Pernambuco, the party’s state president, Tiago Paraíba, guarantees that the PSOL is seeking to give greater scope to the debate. “The management has the legitimacy for the choice, but we intend to democratize this process as much as possible. On November 14th, we will have a meeting to define the methodology of choice”, he explains. He believes that the debate should not create arguments and emphasizes that the candidates managed to articulate support beyond their collectives and currents. “We are going to define the name by the first half of December”, he points out.
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As for the Senate candidacy, the only name that showed interest was that of Eugênia Lima, a lawyer from Olinda, who works closely with cultural groups in her city and was manager of the youth portfolio under Luciana Santos (PCdoB) at the Olinda City Hall. “She’s the only pre-candidate and that shouldn’t change. We will not have an internal dispute and she will be the candidate, we only need confirmation at the end of the year”, says Paraíba.
Member of the PSOL since 2015 and current president of the municipal directory of the party, Eugênia was a candidate for the Senate in 2018, having been in 8th place, with 113,700 votes (1.7%); and in 2020 she was a candidate for councilor in Olinda, being the 8th most voted, with 2,800 votes – but her performance was not enough to win one of the 17 seats, as the party’s ticket did not surpass the electoral coefficient.
Asked about possible alliances for the majority dispute, Tiago Paraíba emphasizes that the resolution passed at the party’s congress affirms the commitment to building a left-wing front in the state. “This gives us the task of dialoguing with PT, PCdoB, PDT, UP, PCB and PSTU”, he says.
The president of PSOL Pernambuco states that the scenario is still undefined and the party needs to focus on building a program. “We know that some are walking with the Popular Front [coligação do atual governo, encabeçada pelo PSB] and others are still debating whether to have their own candidacy. So we are open to dialogue, but for now the focus is on the programmatic debate”, he says. “The early definition of our name will help the parties to assess whether they are interested in building a coalition based on this name”, he assesses.
The priority theme that should be guided in the 2022 elections and that deserves to be highlighted in the party’s future program, in Tiago’s opinion, is employment and income. “Pernambuco leads unemployment rankings. So job creation is a priority”. Other topics that deserve attention, in the analysis of the leader, are: “the water crisis and access to water; education and health as emergency issues for the population; safety; and greater participation of the population in decision-making processes”.
On the national scene, the PSOL supports the candidacy of former president Lula (PT). The decision is unprecedented in the history of the party, which was founded in 2005 and in the four federal elections (2018, 2014, 2010 and 2006) it has always had its own candidacy.
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The PSOL, according to the leader, was not sought out nationally and to form a party federation (a kind of national “fusion” lasting 4 years), so the issue is not being debated in the party.
To guarantee seats in the Legislative Assembly of Pernambuco (Alepe) and in the Federal Chamber, the concern must be to build strong slates to overcome the electoral coefficient. To elect a state deputy in Pernambuco, it is estimated that a party’s ticket needs to reach 90,000 votes. To elect a federal by the state, the coefficient must be 150 thousand votes.
Tiago Paraíba informs that the PSOL has set up a working group focused on the electoral dispute. “The task of this operative group is to organize our electoral debate with the party leadership and articulate the proportional slates. Today we are working to have the maximum number of applications allowed by the TSE”, he says. The Superior Electoral Court will allow each party in Pernambuco to have 50 candidacies for state deputy (there are 49 seats in Alepe) and 26 candidacies for federal (there are 25 seats).
To fill these vacancies with strong names, the PSOL is looking for cadres inside the party, but also outside it. “We are dialoguing with comrades who have already been candidates in recent elections and have shown potential, so that they can contribute again. And we are talking to activists and social leaders in the state to join the PSOL and help form a competitive slate”, he says.
The leader uses the example of Lucinha Mota, the 3rd most voted candidacy of the PSOL in the state in 2018, to say that he believes in surprises in these disputes. “She got 13,000 votes in Petrolina alone [no total ela alcançou 16,3 mil votos]. These people who concentrate many votes in a region can surprise in this dispute, whether for federal or state”, he says.
The priorities, in the leader’s assessment, are to maintain the seat the party already has in Alepe and contribute to overcoming the barrier clause in the federal dispute. PSOL elected its first state deputy in Pernambuco in 2014, when Edílson Silva (now in PCdoB) was elected.
Four years later, in 2020, the collective candidacy of the Juntas was a surprise, surpassing 39,000 votes and maintaining the party’s seat in Alepe. Paraíba considers that the collective mandate had a good performance and therefore evaluates the first goal as more accessible. “We want to keep our chair, but I think we can expand this participation”, he says.
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The second goal is to help the party nationally overcome the barrier clause, preferably by winning the first seat of PSOL Pernambuco in the Federal Chamber. The barrier clause rule came into effect in 2018, determining that each party elects at least 9 federal deputies and achieves a minimum of 1.5% of the votes (in the federal dispute). Of the 33 acronyms then existing in Brazil, 14 did not exceed the clause. On that occasion, the PSOL elected 10 federal deputies in 4 states.
For 2022, the barrier clause determines that each party must reach a minimum of 2% of the valid votes (in the race for federal) or elect at least 11 feds distributed in at least 9 states. Tiago Paraíba is optimistic. “I think we are able to achieve these two goals,” he says. In 2018, the PSOL Pernambuco’s slate of federal deputies had 77.5 thousand votes (1.8% of the valid votes).
Parties that do not exceed the clause lose their right to radio and TV advertising and access to the party fund, a resource that is divided according to the number of seats the party has in Congress. In 2021 alone, PSOL received more than R$20 million from this fund for the party’s internal expenses. The resource is fundamental for the functioning and survival of most acronyms.
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Source: BoF Pernambuco
Edition: Vanessa Gonzaga