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Franco, Wellington Moreira (1944–)

Franco, Wellington Moreira (1944–)

Wellington Moreira Franco (b. 19 October 1944), Brazilian politician. Moreira Franco entered Brazilian politics in the early 1970s, just as the military regime, which had controlled the federal government since 1964, began to liberalize national political life in a process known as Abertura. While serving as a federal deputy for the state of Rio de Janeiro (1975–1977), mayor of the city of Niterói in the state of Rio de Janeiro (1977–1982), and governor of the state of Rio de Janeiro (1986–1990), he became well-known for his vocal advocacy of the return to and consolidation of democratic political processes. During his mayoral and gubernatorial tenures, Moreira Franco sought to build grassroots support through government-sponsored projects in the areas of social welfare and political participation.

Born in the northern city of Teresina, Piauí, Franco moved to Rio de Janeiro in 1955, where he was trained in economics and public administration at the Universidade do Brasil (1966); the Pontífica Universidade Católica of Rio de Janeiro (1968); and the École Pratique des Hautes Études in Paris. A member of the opposition Brazilian Democratic Movement (MDB) during the 1970s, Franco joined the Social Democratic Party (PDS) in 1980. The PDS candidate for governor of the state of Rio de Janeiro in 1982, he was narrowly defeated. He later joined the Brazilian Democratic Movement Party (PMDB), which supported him during his successful 1986 gubernatorial bid. In 1994 he was elected federal deputy and was a great supporter of President Fernando Henrique Cardoso. In 2004 he was a precipitator in the scandal of Niterói when he abruptly attempted to change his running mate from Tania Rodrigues to Sérgio Zveiter. Rodrigues protested the illegality of the switch and was reinstated as his running mate. Zveiter was given the opportunity to run on his own, but instead chose to support Franco. Only days after this scandal was resolved, Franco announced that the election had been falsified and that the reelection of Godofredo Pinto had been fixed. In the end, Pinto was officially reelected.

See alsoAbertura; Brazil, Political Parties: Brazilian Democratic Movement (MDB); Brazil, Political Parties: Brazilian Democratic Movement Party (PMDB); Rio de Janeiro (Province and State).

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Franco, Wellington Moreira. Rio, a nosso desafio. Rio de Janeiro: Sedrega, 1982.

Franco, Wellington Moreira. Em defesa do Rio. Rio de Janeiro: Topbooks, 1991.

Franco, Wellington Moreira. Antes que seja tarde. Rio de Janeiro: Topbooks, 2002.

                                        Daryle Williams

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