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Marcelo Crivella [PRB] and Marcelo Freixo [PSOL] on the Globo News Electoral Debate.

The dissatisfaction of the masses with the politicians, the Workers’ Party (PT) and the whole political system was expressed again during the second round of the municipal elections.

By J. Figuereido – PSTU Rio de Janeiro

When the polls were closed, the data was categorical. According to the Superior Electoral Court (TSE), the voters who did not show on the second round, together with the blank and null ballot, surpassed the record and totalized 10,7 million people across country.

The total abstention was of 7,1 million voters (21,6% of the electorate). Together with the 936 thousand blank votes (4,26% of the votes) and the 2,7 million null votes, they correspond to a 32,5% of the 32,9 million voters.

The enormous rejection to the PT and the whole political system, which already expressed on the first round, is a product of, in one hand, the great dissatisfaction with the economic and political crisis in the country, and specially with the great disillusionment of the masses that broke with the PT, mainly after the elections in 2014, increased by the corruption scandals.

Polls Versus Struggles: Where Is The “Conservative Wave”?

Evidently, as the elections are the terrain of the bourgeoisie, the results on the polls are a distorted expression of the class struggle. In the case of these elections, the PSDB and PMDB benefited from the decrease on the valid votes because of the qide abstention rate, as well as with null and blank votes that were part of the “punishing vote” against the PT.

Yet no party channeled the political space left by the PT. Not even the PSOL could channel such process, despite the increased number of PSOL councilors across the country. There is no doubt: the PSDB and the PMDB will use their victories to further attack the working class and the youth by approving the PEC 241[1] on the Low Chamber [already voted].

That is why the hasty conclusions taken by sectors of the left after the results of the elections are mistaken. By guiding themselves only by the electoral results and not by the working class struggles, they rush into wrong conclusions.

The workers are not defeated. The relationships of forces is defined by the class struggle, and the governments elected are less representative, more fragile, and will have to confront the masses in order to implement the program that led them to to break with the PT.

There are struggles in course, and the streets, the strikes and the occupations are our terrain. It is necessary to rely on the discontent of the masses, expressed in the struggles and in the ballot, to move forward on the organization and the unity of struggles towards a national strike in order to defeat the neo-liberal reforms of Temer.

Mobilization is the way to overcome the democracy of the rich ones for the workers’ to rule directly through Popular Councils. The left needs to take conclusions out of the defeat of the PT, which privileged the elections, the maintenance of the system and the alliances with the bourgeoisie.

Rio de Janeiro: “Vote In Nobody” Defeats Marcelo Crivella

In the second round, Rio de Janeiro (RJ) reaffirmed its place as the capital of “no vote”, as it did on the first round. The sum of abstentions, blank and null votes totalized 2.034.352 voters (41,53% of the electorate), surpassing the votes received by Crivella, elected with 1.700.030 (34,7%) votes.

In an election marked by economic and political crisis, RJ also reflected the the general discontent with all the options. Crivella also benefits from the fall of valid votes and the “punishing vote” against the PT.

Crivella represents the most retrograde sectors of Rio’s bourgeoisie, and his election is also responsibility of those like the PT, which named him as Minister of Fisheries of Dilma’s government. The campaign of Marcelo Freixo (PSOL) was attractive to the youth and middle class sectors, which supports his candidacy.

But by aligning with the PT in defense of Dilma’s mandate and therefore not presenting a program of rupture with the businessmen and the regime, he could not splice with the great mass of people unsatisfied with the PT and the politicians in general.

The PSTU called for a critical vote on Freixo for the second round and closed ranks to defeat Crivella. We also called Freixo to put his campaign to serve the construction of a general strike against Temer’s reforms, as much as to revise his program in order to break with the Fiscal Responsibility Bill and annul the contracts with the Social Organizations (OS) to ensure health, education… basically, a prefecture for the workers.

On the contrary, on the eve of the voting of the PEC 241 in the Low Chamber, Freixo launched a letter called “Commitment with Rio”. Through the letter he looked to ease the market by guaranteeing fiscal balance and contracts in regular situation, as Lula did with his “Letter to the Brazilians”, in 2002, which lead the PT to rule for the bankers and the businessmen.

The PSOL, by presenting a program that does not break with the capital and only defends small reforms of the system, is following the same path of the PT with its mistakes.

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Notes:

[1] “The Constitutional Amendment of the “Costs ceiling” [PEC 241] will represent a brutal cut of social costs, specially regarding health and education, as much as the reduction of the minimum wage and the Social Security adjustment (General Strike to defeat Temer`s Reforms! – October 27th, http://litci.org/en/general-strike-to-defeat-temers-reforms/)

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Translation: Guillermo Zuñiga