(Bloomberg) -- Brazil’s leading right-wing candidate for the presidency will likely pick a member of Brazil’s former royal family or a general as his running mate, according to son and fellow lawmaker, Eduardo Bolsonaro.
Jair Bolsonaro, a former Army captain is in discussion with Luiz Philippe de Orleans e Braganca, a descendant of Brazil’s last emperor, and Antonio Hamilton Mourao, a retired Army general, the younger Bolsonaro said in an interview.
“We need someone honest, and both of them are clean. Both for sure are patriots. And they have a high intellectual level to help with the government and handle Congress,” Eduardo Bolsonaro said in Bloomberg’s New York office. “We’re looking for a vice president not to win the election, but to govern Brazil.”
The presidential hopeful will announce his choice Aug. 5. He garners around 20 percent of vote intentions, behind only former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who is likely to be barred from standing.
Orleans e Braganca is a Stanford-trained political scientist and author who worked for JPMorgan Chase & Co. in London. He was also the head of political movement Acorda Brasil that supported the impeachment of former President Dilma Rousseff. General Mourao entered the public spotlight last year with comments perceived as supportive of military intervention amid widespread corruption.
Orleans e Braganca did not immediately respond to calls and emails. Mourao said that he was still waiting to hear but it would be "an honor and a privilege" to be chosen.
Bolsonaro has cultivated a devoted following, attacking progressive values and taking a hard-line stance on law and order issues. That’s a position that’s resonated with many Brazilians amid a surge of violent crime and massive corruption revelations that have discredited the political establishment. Either potential running mate would likely satisfy right-wing fringe groups demanding military intervention or a return to the monarchy that ended in 1889.
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Neither would necessarily bring in many more votes, according to Juliano Griebeler, political analyst from the consultancy Barral M. Jorge. "It’s more a consolidation of his proposals and values," he said.
While Bolsonaro polls considerably stronger among men than women, picking a female partner would be unlikely to attract more votes, at least in the first-round vote, according to Silvio Cascione, political analyst for Eurasia Group.
What the choice of a vice-president directly affects is freely allotted television time. As Orleans e Braganca belongs to Bolsonaro’s PSL party and Mourao’s PRTB party is small, either ticket would leave him precious few seconds to appeal to Brazilian voters.
That’s of little concern to Eduardo Bolsonaro, who pointed out that his father’s social media following almost doubles that of others, including Lula. Such groundswell support also allows Bolsonaro more freedom to choose a running mate without making concessions to large parties, the younger Bolsonaro said.
“If you let another party indicate someone totally different from you – who wants to keep the state big or keep their privileges - you will start your government with problems within the house, and we can’t do that,” he said. “We will need a government that can pass the reforms Brazil needs.”
--With assistance from Jose Enrique Arrioja.
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