I have nothing to hide: I’m gay. A simple sentence that tells a success story and from Thursday evening, in Brazil, it has also become a political statement. Eduardo Leite, governor of the rich southern state of Rio Grande do Sul and potential presidential candidate next year, he confirmed his orientation in an interview. Without pride or shame. I have never talked about a subject related to my private life, but in this time of low integrity in Brazil, I repeat that I have nothing to hide. I am a gay governor, not a gay governor. Just as Obama was a black president not a black president. And I’m proud of it, told TV Globo reporter Pedro Bial.
Leite’s coming out is almost a proclamation against the ultraconservative president Jair Bolsonaro, who on more than one occasion has expressed his profound aversion to homosexuality and on which a new judicial tile has been knocked down in recent days. On Friday, Supreme Court Judge Rosa Weber ruled the opening of a second investigation into Bolsonaro for the alleged network of bribes linked to the purchase of anti-Covid vaccines, already at the center of a parliamentary investigation. The hypothesis of an official omission offense, this time for alleged irregularities in the purchase of Covaxin from India’s Bharat Biotech: the Ministry of Health would have authorized the payment to the Brazilian distributor of a batch of 20 million doses, now suspended , at $ 15 a dose instead of 1.34.
Bolsonaro denies having been aware of it and meanwhile accuses rival Leite of exploiting coming out for electoral purposes: I have nothing against his private life, but he cannot impose his lifestyle on others. In the past, the president has repeatedly given breath to his crude homophobia, perhaps seeking consensus among far-right fans. Like when he declared, I would rather have a dead son than a gay one. Or again when, to the journalist who asked him about the money laundering charges against his son, Senator Flavio Bolsonaro replied with contempt: You have a terrible homosexual face.
Exponent of the Brazilian Social Democracy Party (PSDB), 36-year-old Leite had supported the outsider Bolsonaro in the second round of the presidential elections, in 2018, but then distanced himself from the increasingly reactionary positions of the head of state and his disastrous handling of the pandemic. He then ran for the PSDB primaries, scheduled for November, where long-time political challengers such as the governor of São Paulo, Joo Doria (63), senator Tasso Jereissati (72) and former senator Arthur Virglio (75) . A new face, which for now seems to be facing a very uphill road.
The race for the presidential elections of 2022 is already open. According to all surveys, it will be a polarized duel between Bolsonaro and Luiz Incio Lula da Silva, former president and leader of the Workers’ Party, who stands for a third term after the cancellation of convictions for corruption. The latest investigation, published by the newspaper The State of São Paulo, d Lula in the lead with 49% against 29% of the rival. The former center-left deputy Ciro Gomes (7%) and Joo Doria (5%) are seconded. But the games, in Brazil, are not closed until the end. Once again, the so-called could be decisive Center, an informal and very casual political force, which has always been decisive for the approval of laws and leaders. Deputies who until now Bolsonaro managed to remain faithful, thanks to generous donations of public funds, but who could now find other banks.
July 3, 2021 (change July 3, 2021 | 22:32)
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