Top News

Local elections in Brazil's Macapá postponed due to state-wide power outage

FILE PHOTO: Power lines connecting pylons of high-tension electricity are seen near Brasilia, Brazil August 29, 2018. REUTERS/Ueslei Marcelino/File Photo

BRASILIA (Reuters) - Local elections in the northern Brazilian city of Macapá slated for Sunday have been postponed due to security concerns because of a state-wide power outage, according to a Supreme Electoral Court ruling.

Amapá, a remote state in the Amazon rainforest on the border with French Guiana, has been virtually without electricity for over a week since transformers were knocked out by a fire at the main substation in Macapá, where most of the state’s 862,000 inhabitants live.

Court chief justice Luis Roberto Barroso said the ruling applies to the first round of voting due to be held on Sunday and the second round scheduled for Nov. 29. The elections will only be held when electricity is completely restored.

According to security agencies, the disruption in energy supply in the state of Amapá has triggered an increase in crime and heightened the risk of social upheaval. Local media have reported protests across the state.

The power failure has made it impossible to monitor the COVID-19 outbreak in the state, the Amapá government has said, and new cases have not been counted for a week.

Only elections in the state capital Macapá have been postponed.

On Sunday Brazilians go to the polls in 5,570 local elections across the country in a vote that will gauge the 2022 re-election chances of President Jair Bolsonaro, whose government has been criticized for acting slowly to resolve the nine-day blackout in Amapá.

Reporting by Lisandra Paraguassu, writing by Jamie McGeever