Mayor for São Paulo Celso …. who?

Russomano. That Russomano is the name being bandied around as the next mayor of São Paulo is a major upset for politics as usual. São Paulo is by far the most important municipality and a benchmark for the wider state of São Paulo, which still accounts for some third of Brazil’s GDP. Russomano’s programme is sketchy, populist and highly connected to the bizarre Pentecostal Universal Church of the Kingdom of God.
From an unpromising start, Russomano has made himself the man to beat and his rise has been unleashing some pretty negative campaigning as his opponents get more desperate to unhorse him.
The personal attacks haven’t hit home so far. In the latest polls, Russomano was up there, scoring 31% a full 9% above the most obvious candidate, José Serra, and well ahead of Fernando Haddad, of the governing Workers’ Party (PT) who has the support of the biggest fish of all, former president Lula.
If realized, the upset in the São Paulo race would be an embarrassment for Brazil’s two leading rival parties, the PT and the Brazilian Social Democracy Party (PSDB). The PSDB, already in disarray, looks set to further lose its way after years of losing out to the PT. Serra himself will look truly tainted and his star falling: he was after all the leading opponent of Dilma Rousseff.
So who is this Russomano? He’s best known as a former champion of consumer rights – a sort of Esther Rantzen in the programme Aqui Agora – on Brazil’s popular SBT channel. That helped him get one of the most voted for Federal deputies in 1994 and has been voted back in three more times.
A touchy-feely lover of the camera, Russomano has given little concrete about his programme. In his official presentations, he serves up an ideal of efficient public services with quality in a sustainable and transparent government. Promises are wide-ranging and include healthcare, transport, jobs, security and well, you name it. The lack of focus shows his determination to appeal to the widest possible audience.
More worryingly, his party is sketchy. The small, obscure party Brazilian Republican Party is connected with the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God. Religion is at the fore of this campaign. His most famous quote so far is that he would like to see a church on every corner. That has struck a chord with voters looking to this moral champion of the consumer to clean up politics.

About admin

I've been researching and writing on Brazilian financial markets, industry and economy since 2006 for a wide range of specialist media, consultancies and investors. Before that I spent over 10 years in London and New York writing for and editing magazines and journals dedicated to finance, investment and economics in developing markets, mostly for the Euromoney Institutional Investor group and Thomson Financial. Areas of coverage Below are samples of areas that I cover and some of the common themes that I investigate. Capital markets BM&FBovespa markets *capital raising trends: via equities (IPOs and secondary issuance), debt and loans *the asset management industry: legislation and coverage of the key hedge, pension and investment funds * corporate governance: how the regulator is seeking to strengthen best practice and limitations * debt markets: the nascent corporate markets, attempts to boost liquidity and new insturments. * private equity market: why this market has been so successful, who’s involved. *electronic, high frequency trading and alternative trading platforms: what does the future hold? Banking *credit: the growth of consumer and business credit and competition between banks and models *Public versus private: the role and market share of public and private sector banks and the politicization of the industry * internationalization: which Brazilian banks are expanding overseas and where * investment banking: the growth of the domestic market and who’s winning which mandates *regional banks and development banks: what role they play in the industry and how they compete Mining *licensing: the complex process of obtaining environmental, water, land and operating licenses at a state and federal level. * capacity: the feasibility and sustainability of capacity increases * financing: how miners are raising finance in Brazil and abroad *competition: the interplay Vale, MMX and junior miners *logistics: rail, road and port connections Oil and gas: the fund raising issues related to the massive of pre-salt (link) Multilatinas: Who are they and how and where they are expanding Meatpacking: Are debt burdens sustainable, what are the different business models for areas such as branding and distrbution Agriculture: How are farms consolidating, what are environmental risks, how can foreign investors be involved. IT and software: Can Brazil take on India and build a viable long-term IT industry? For more information on clients and work, please see the media and consultancy sections.
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