One of the parties that form the government’s tripod, the Republicans have irritated one of the main political groups in the Federal District. The legend joined the then Minister of Women, Damares Alves (Republicans) at the end of March with the plan to launch her candidacy for the Senate. But her colleague on the Esplanade, the former minister of the Secretariat of Government, Flávia Arruda (PL), had already declared that she would run for the position.
Each state will have only one Senate seat in this election. The possibility of two Bolsonar candidates running opens space for the electorate to share votes and allows for the growth of an opponent opposing the federal government.
Flávia’s coreligionist, President Jair Bolsonaro (PL) intends to support only one Senate candidate per state. Representatives of the Republicans, however, claim that Damares’ candidacy for the position will be maintained and that the party will not retreat to launch the former minister to the Chamber of Deputies.
A congressman from the Republicans highlights that the PL has already affiliated Jair Bolsonaro and his sons Flávio and Eduardo, in addition to General Braga Netto, quoted for vice president. “Why does the PL have to have everything and the Republicans have to accept any imposition?”, asks one exponent of the party.
The imbroglio involves the alternate vacancy. The Republicans launched the name of Damares after unsuccessful attempts to choose the name of the alternate for the PL’s ticket in the DF. Flávia’s husband, former governor José Roberto Arruda, wants businessman Fernando de Castro Marques, owner of União Química, as a running mate of the former minister.
The interest of both parties is explained: the substitute, in this case, is halfway to reach Parliament without needing a vote, since Flávia Arruda may be invited again to a ministerial position in the eventual re-election of Bolsonaro.
Without Damares Alves rounding up the votes of evangelicals, Flávia Arruda would today be almost unbeatable for the Senate race. In a survey of Real Time Big Data In March, Flávia appeared in first place in one of the scenarios outlined, with 23% of the votes, followed by former senator Cristovam Buarque (Citizenship), with 15%. Damares was not included in the survey, prior to her pre-candidacy. Experts estimate that the dispute between the two Bolsonaro supporters could end up benefiting a candidate from the left.