Ana Estela Haddad criticizes mixing religion with elections

Ana Estela Haddad criticizes mixing religion with elections
Ana Estela Haddad criticizes mixing religion with elections

Possible 1st lady of the State of São Paulo, Ana Estela Haddad classifies as “unfortunate” the way the electoral debate mixed religion with political issues. For her, the mix of spaces is a “bad practice” used for “manipulate political space” and forces candidates to take a stand on the issue. Ana Estela is married to Fernando Haddad (PT), candidate for the government of São Paulo.

“We have a very strong religious background, but I have always believed that these are things that go separately. Mixing politics with religion is bad practice and has been used to manipulate political space, regrettably.” said in an interview with Power 360held on Monday (19.Sep.2022).

Ana Estela also says she believes that the female vote will have “heavy weight” on the results of the elections and explains that, if Haddad is elected, she will have to work in the areas of childhood, education and health as the 1st lady of São Paulo.

Ana Estela, 56 years old, is a doctor in dentistry and professor of orthodontics and pediatric dentistry at USP (University of São Paulo). She was an advisor to the Ministries of Education and Health in the governments of Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (PT) and, as 1st lady during Haddad’s administration at the head of the São Paulo City Hall, was coordinator of the São Paulo Carinhosa program.

Watch the full interview (43min26):

Lula’s campaign for a 3rd term as president of the Republic tries to get closer to the evangelical electorate, more identified with his opponent, President Jair Bolsonaro (PL).

But some evangelical movements approached the PT campaign. On September 14, the Frente de Evangélicos por Estado de Direito delivered a letter of support to the candidacies of Lula and Haddad to Ana Estela, Lu Alckmin and Lúcia França.

Lu is the wife of the vice-presidential candidate on Lula’s ticket, Geraldo Alckmin (PSB). Lúcia, wife of former state governor Márcio França (PSB), runs for vice on Haddad’s ticket.

About the meeting, Ana Estela said that it was “touching” because they sought out women. “We had a really good connection and really feeling a communion of ideas from the letter that was delivered to us and our campaign”, said.

Ana Estela and Lu Alckmin have also carried out their own agendas in the interior of São Paulo, which is traditionally more conservative and where the PT has more difficulties.

For her, the agendas with Alckmin’s wife are important because the former toucan is more accepted by this electorate. Alckmin was affiliated to the PSDB for 33 years and ruled São Paulo 4 times.

“I think they have, as a couple, a very strong credibility and identity. [com o eleitor] They are from the interior of São Paulo and I think the people of the interior feel a strong identity with them”, said.

She also celebrates Lula’s rapprochement with Alckmin. “I think this approximation is very positive, which reduces the issue of polarization that we have been feeling. Today it went so far to the right, that I think it created a space of greater aggregation to this side, which I think is fundamental”, said.

Asked who she would like Haddad to face in an eventual 2nd round, Ana Estela said that it is difficult to define between Tarcísio de Freitas (Republicans) or Rodrigo Garcia (PSDB), but said that both have “very marked differences” and they are “candidacies that defend very different state projects”.

For her, Garcia also represents the continuity of the management of João Doria (PSDB), of whom he was deputy. “And I can speak from my point of view as a professor at a state university. We had extremely difficult situations for this government that devalued and wanted to reduce resources”, said.

Haddad leads the voting intentions according to a DataFolha survey published this Thursday (22.Sep.2022), with 34%. In 2nd place, Tarcísio appears, with 23% of voters’ preference and Garcia has 19% of voting intentions.

The survey was commissioned by the newspaper Folha de S. Paulo and for TV Globo, heard 2,000 people in 86 cities. The margin of error is plus or minus 2%. It was registered with the TSE (Superior Electoral Court) under the number SP-07041/2022.

The professor also explained that she gave up running for an elective position to prioritize her professional and academic career, in addition to her family life. At the beginning of the year, she was quoted to run for a seat in the Chamber of Deputies.

“One of the things was to assess that I needed to complete this trajectory [acadêmica]. And, even if I opt for public life later on, that I do so having completed a cycle that, for me, is very dear to me because it is a matter of life, I have a very strong identity with the teaching, research and academic management”, explained.

Ana Estela also said that she assessed that the current political environment is violent and, therefore, she could become “an easy target”.

“Because there is a very strong gender issue placed in the political space to reach it. I thought it might be a double-edged sword. I thought it was better not to take that risk and because I can contribute without being a candidate”, said.

If Haddad is elected, Ana Estela will evaluate working with projects in the areas of childhood, education and health. She was coordinator of the São Paulo Carinhosa program when she was the 1st lady of the capital of São Paulo, from 2013 to 2016.

As for the possible management of her husband, she says that it should be “innovative, powerful, intersectoral and with the participation of civil society”.


The article is in Portuguese

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