“What does a federal deputy do? Truly, I don’t know. But vote for me and I will find out for you.”
This is one of the political slogans of a man who is expected to enter the Brazilian Chamber of Deputies, the lower house of Congress, in the general election on 3 October with the backing of more than a million voters. If the phrase sounds like some sort of joke, perhaps you will not be surprised to learn that this particular candidate is a professional clown.
Francisco Everardo Oliveira Silva, or Tiririca as he is known, started working in a circus at the age of eight in the impoverished north-eastern state of Ceara, and is now a TV comedian. Like Tiririca – which means grumpy – dozens of figures from Brazilian sport and showbusiness C-list are fighting for one of the Chamber’s 513 seats, alongside experienced politicians, members of longstanding political clans and complete newcomers. In all there are more than 6,000 candidates from 27 parties.
Another candidate who is predicted to win a landslide victory is the ex-footballer Romario, hero of Brazil’s 1994 World Cup victory. He is running for office representing his home state of Rio de Janeiro and hopes to work to “keep children off crack and other drugs”.
“As a kid growing up in a poor community, I got tired of politicians visiting us and promising improvements that never happened. I realised that I have to be the one who get things done,” Romario tells the BBC.” – Source (more here)