Last weekend congressional elections in Brazil came with a hilarious surprise:
The candidate with the most votes turned out to be Francisco Oliviera, a 45-year old television entertainer and circus clown since the age of 8. He stood out by his make-up, irreverent political campaigns, and the swooping 1.3 million votes he managed to conquer in the elections, more than double the votes of any other candidate.
“What does a federal deputy do?” he asks with a grimace in one of his ads “I have no idea. But vote for me, and I’ll sure tell you…”.
Tiririca’s campaign isn’t entirely an entertainer’s stunt, however, and the clown could pull a very interesting bunch of flowers from inside his bowler hat:
Under Brazilian law, Tiririca can assign excess votes from his own results to other candidates in his coalition; having twice as many votes as anyone else, the joke is on the stern, sober opposition that tried to run him off the race for being Illiterate clown. In this instance, “Illiterate clown” is not meant as a pejorative term: Tiririca is a professional clown who cannot read, but earned the hearts of Brazil with honesty, transparency and making funny faces and dances.