Knife and cheese

Yesterday night, Palmeiras’ Deliberative Council formally welcomed the 76 new council members elected at the beginning of February. With their mandates running until early 2017, the new batch joins the 76 conseglieri who are half-way through their four-year mandate, in addition to the roughly 130 members appointed for life.

The highlight of the evening consisted of the elections of president and vice-president of the Council, the outcome being of the outmost importance: the president of the CD has the power to advance or – as we saw during most part of former president Vergamini’s time in office – block important issues, including the statuary changes proposed by Palmeiras’ president Nobre during his election campaign.

As it happens, Nobre’s candidate of choice won the elections by a rather comfortable margin:  lawyer Antônio Augusto Pompeu de Toledo received 137 votes, with young and coming Tarso Gouveia landing as the runner up with 76 votes while Eugenio Reynaldo Palazzi trailed behind with 20. The vice-president race was a bit tighter, with Elio Esteves coming in at 116, Guilherme Gomes Pereira at 87 and Vittorio Alessandro Pescolido at 40.

According to a Brazilian saying, President Nobre finds himself with “the knife and cheese in his hands”, the political landscape by all means seaming favourable to his intentions to promote the profound changes envisioned by progressive forces: separate the social club from all football activities, making them two distinct and self-sustaining units; gradually diminish the political influence of the for-life-appointed counsellors; and have supporters participate more actively and in larger numbers in the political life of Palmeiras, turning the elections more transparent and democratic.

Some see a diabolic scheme lurking in the shadows, orchestrated by former president Mustafá Contursi, who de facto voted in favour of both Nobre and de Toledo. “Contursi has won, Contursi is back!” That sounds, quite frankly, rather insane. In my view, Contursi sided with Nobre – who politically represents everything Contursi is not – because there were simply no other options. By “siding” with the winner, the ego boost is there, albeit small. Insignificant. As I’m certain time will show.

Scoppia che la vittoria è nostra!

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