A businessman and a megachurch bishop were sworn in as mayors in Brazil's two largest cities Sunday. The election of the outside candidates shows Brazilians' disdain for the current state of politics.
Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo started 2017 by swearing in new leaders from unusual backgrounds. Evangelical bishop Marcelo Crivella was inaugurated as mayor of Rio, and Joao Doria, a millionaire who hosted "The Apprentice Brazil," became mayor of Brazil's largest city.
"I am a manager and I will put management first for the city of Sao Paulo," said Doria.
Doria added he ran as a successful businessman, not as a politician. He promised a cleaner, fairer Sao Paulo for all.
Rio moves right
In Rio, Crivella, a bishop at the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God, got started right away. He halved the number of heads of departments in his administration and said the number of public sector jobs would soon be reduced.
"We will have to do more with less," said Crivella at an inauguration ceremony, which was attended by many evangelical leaders.
Crivella, a member of the socially conservative Brazilian Republican Party (PRB), won the Rio mayoral elections in October. Crivella's evangelical message was well-received by the poor, who previously voted more left. But following Dilma Rousseff's impeachment in August, Brazil has steadily moved to the right, while many Brazilian political leaders have been named in the ongoing Operation Car Wash scandal.
Rio was in a financial crisis going into the 2016 Summer Olympics, seeing a deficit of 19 billion reais ($5.56 billion, 4.9 billion euros) two months before the athletic competition.
kbd/kl (AFP, AP)