By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – With Brazilians facing one of their most unpredictable presidential elections since the country’s redemocratization, some of the country’s largest parties are still struggling to find a vice-president for their nominee.

Congressional representative and presidential candidate, Jair Bolsonaro, has not yet chosen a running mate for October's elections,
Congressional representative and presidential candidate, Jair Bolsonaro, has not yet chosen a running mate for October’s elections, photo by Fernando Frazão/Agencia Brasil.

So far, only three political parties have announced both the names of their candidate and running mate for the October elections.

Most of the larger parties have already announced their candidate, but are skeptic about divulging running mates hoping to use the position as a bargaining chip to garner support from parties that have decided not to launch a candidate. According to analysts it is all about making the right electoral composition.

“For some it is important to have a name from the North and Northeast. For others, having a woman on the ticket may be more relevant,” political scientist Fernando Schüler told local website Terra.

Controversial right-wing candidate, Jair Bolsonaro, who currently is one of the front runners in election polls wanted a retired general as his running mate, but the suggestion was not accepted by his Social Liberal Party (PSL).

The PSL has been in talks with lawyer Janaina Paschoal, instrumental in the impeachment of former president Dilma Rousseff, Luiz Philippe de Orleans e Bragança, of Brazil’s disappearing Royal Family and Marcos Pontes, Brazil’s first astronaut. Analysts say that choosing Paschoal would garner more sympathy for the candidate who has been accused of being a misogynist.

Another well-placed candidate, former São Paulo governor Geraldo Alckmin of the Brazilian Social Democracy Party (PSDB), is also struggling to find someone to accept the post. Businessman, Josue Gomes, son of former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva’s vice president, Jose Alencar, declined the invitation. Now the PSDB is in talks with the Solidariedade (Solidarity) party, which has withdrawn its candidate, Aldo Rabelo.

To date, only the PSOL, DC and PSTU parties have announced complete tickets, with candidate and running mate, for this year’s presidential race.

Similar to Bolsonaro and Alckmin, candidates like Ciro Gomes (Democratic Labor Party – PDT) Marina Silva (Network – Rede) and Henrique Meirelles (Brazilian Democratic Movement – MDB) have announced their intentions to run, but have yet to choose their running mates.

And one of the largest political parties in Brazil, the PT (Workers’ Party), of former president Lula, has yet to define its presidential candidate. The party continues to state that it will nominate the former leader, who is in prison for corruption and has been ruled ineligible to run, as its 2018 presidential candidate.

Sunday, August 5th is the deadline for political parties to approve the names of their candidates for president and vice-president, who then must be registered in Brazil’s Superior Electoral Court (TSE) by August 15th.

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