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Improving Road Conditions to Gain Votes in Olinda, Brazil

Improving Road Conditions to Gain Votes in Olinda, Brazil

What can be said of the superficial improvements made to the streets of Olinda by City Hall in order to facilitate the election of Paulo Câmara to the Senate? They are disrespectful to the intelligence of the Olidense citizen who deserves to be properly educated about the candidate. Residents of the area have long awaited

by Nora Lamm September 9, 2014 No comments

What can be said of the superficial improvements made to the streets of Olinda by City Hall in order to facilitate the election of Paulo Câmara to the Senate? They are disrespectful to the intelligence of the Olidense citizen who deserves to be properly educated about the candidate.

Residents of the area have long awaited improvements, but it was only on Thursday (August 7th), as the Popular Front candidate traversed stretches of the neighborhood, when some streets were finally fixed. Emergency actions such as these that are undertaken to improve the image of a place in order to contribute to campaign activity is abusing the system in favor of the candidate.

After all, the election guide Chamber staff took pictures and created a positive and "sanitized" scene for the socialist candidate and his entourage to shine. The most significant issue about this is that the politician that facilitated the road improvements, Mayor Renildo Calheiros (PCdoB), did not appear. Mayor Renildo was not present to see the "benefits" nor the citizens that reside in the Alto da Bondade neighborhood. It was an absence that says a lot about the mayor’s management and relationship with the city and the electorate.

Before the incident in the city, voters must have been hoping that Paulo Câmara would continue along the outskirts of São Paulo, Recife, and Jaboatão in order for other improvements to occur. However those areas do not have the same mayors as Renildo. Below is the article published on Friday, August 8th in the local paper about what happened during the visit of Câmara in the Alto da Bondade neighborhood (text and a photo of street resurfaced below are of Thiago Neuenschwander).

An example of road construction in Olinda, Brazil.

Streets Repaved to Receive Paulo

A week after visiting the neighborhood of Sapucaia in Olinda, the candidate for governor of the Popular Front, Paulo Câmara (PSB), returned to the countryside for a new journey as part of his campaign schedule. On July 31st, during his visit, the socialist candidate found a community completely abandoned by the government. Yesterday, the City of Olinda tried to improve the situation of the place before the politician’s visit by performing an emergency resurfacing on Rua da Linha the main access road to the Alto da Bondade neighborhood, in order to better receive political allies. The event also caused inconvenience to local traffic, since the military closed the street, causing a massive traffic jam.

Residents greeted the Senate candidate Fernando Bezerra Coelho (PSB) while he was touring the city, but did not fail to emphasize that political campaigns hardly appear in the region. Local computer technician Jean Carlos Braga commented on the event, "I went to work one morning and there was a lot of noise here in front of my house. For over a year and a half the situation was like this. When I returned early this afternoon I was shocked to see that they had covered all the holes in the road."

Olinda, Brazil

Coelho was accompanied by deputy Raul Henry (PMDB), and the former mayor of Olinda, now Congresswoman Luciana Santos (PCdoB), who is running for reelection. Like last week, the city's current mayor, Renildo Calheiros (PCdoB), was not at the event. Coelho said there is no problem between the two politicians. "This is the second campaign event we're doing in the middle of the afternoon and the mayor is working," he said. After leaving Olinda, the Socialist candidate proceeded to tour the new municipality of Abreu e Lima, of Greater Recife, and the inauguration of re-elected candidate for Federal House, Mendonça Filho (DEM).

How does the political situation in your city affect urban planning?

Original article, originally published in Portuguese, here.

Credits: Images and data linked to sources.

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Originally from Albuquerque, New Mexico, Nora grew up surrounded by the varied architectural styles and geographies of the Southwest U.S. After graduating from Middlebury College with a B.A. in Latin American Studies and Geography, Nora moved to Wash...

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