The centrist Social Democratic Party (PSDB) advanced while the left-leaning PT (Partido dos Trabalhadores) retreated in Brazilian municipal elections held Sunday. Voters in all of Brazil’s more than 5,000 municipalities voted for mayors and city councils Sunday. It was the first election of any kind in Brazil since impeachment earlier this year of President Dilma Rousseff, a PT leader. Rousseff was removed from office following widespread prosecutions of PT leaders for corruption. Haunted by scandal, PT candidates fared poorly nationwide in Sunday’s balloting. The party managed to elect only 256 mayors, down from 638 in the previous municipal election cycle in 2012. The PT’s traditional rival, the PSDB, emerged as a winner on Sunday, electing 793 mayors, up from 695 in 2012. Nowhere was the PT-PSDB contest as sharp as in Brazil’s biggest city of São Paulo. There, PSDB nominee João Dória, a prominent businessman, trounced incumbent PT Mayor Fernando Haddad by a whopping 53 percent to 17 percent, with a half dozen other candidates trailing badly. Brazil’s new President, Michel Temer, is a member of the PMDB (Partido do Movimento Democrático Brasileiro). The PMDB held its own Sunday, electing 1,021 mayors, down only slightly from 1,028 in 2012. Under Brazilian election laws, cities with 200,000 or more voters hold run-off elections if no candidate wins 50 percent or more in the first round. Of 92 cities subject to the rule, 55 will hold run-off elections on Oct. 30.
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