Journalist Elected SP Assemblywoman Experiments With A "Collective" Mandate

Mônica Seixas will let other eight activists work in the State Assembly in her name

São Paulo

​For starters, Mônica Seixas won't be one assemblywoman. She wants to be nine, all at the same time.

The arrangement who led her to the São Paulo state assembly raised some eyebrows during her campaign, and now she sees other raised eyebrows among her colleagues, who doubt the feasibility of her working model.

The journalist belongs to a collective mandate, composed by her and eight other people. They plan to share assembly duties, in what they call an experience of political innovation.

"I will be only the spokesperson. Everybody has the same say in decisions and how we plan to vote," said Seixas. By assembly rules, she is the only one authorized to sit in plenary and take the stand.

The group, conceived by the political movement Activist Bench, ran with PSOL and obtained 149,844 votes, the 10th largest number of votes in the state.

São Paulo State assemblywoman Mônica Seixas - Folhapress

During the campaign, each "candidate" had to explain that the name in the ballot was Seixas', but if she won, the whole group (seven women and two men) would work together.

This arrangement is not officially recognized, but there are other similar cases in some city councils and in the Pernambuco state assembly.

"Everybody asks if the nine of us are together all the time. That won't happen, that's why we work with the spokesperson model," Seixas said.

From the group, she was the only one with some political experience -- she ran for mayor of Itu, near São Paulo, in 2016. Now, they want to use their expertise to run their joint seat.

"Instead of having one single topic to work for, we will have nine," she said. The understanding is that since they have more knowledge in their areas than would a regular assembly aide.

Translated by NATASHA MADOV

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