RIO DE JANEIRO : In Brazil, where nicknames are everything, voters can now opt for a congressional candidate who goes by the name Barack Obama.
He is black, like the US president, and running for congress in elections on October 5 for the ruling Workers Party. His real name is Claudio Henrique dos Anjos. A court has allowed the 45-year-old to run in the election with ballots that read “Barack Obama.”
On his website, he goes by the longer name Claudio Henrique Barack Obama.
On Tuesday he formally presented his candidacy, and in the short time alloted him on television he launched the terse slogan “Vote for Barack Obama!” Electoral laws in Brazil give candidates leeway to choose the name they want to go by in campaigns.
Here, people’s nicknames are almost always more well known than their real names. For instance, Edison Arantes do Nascimento is the football legend better known as Pele.
Former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva eventually incorporated his nickname Lula into his formal identity.
And in this election there are candidates who go my such monikers as “O Nojento” (The Disgusting One) and another who calls himself “Pijama”.
Prosecutors tried to block Dos Anjos from using the name Obama but in August a court okayed it, saying it was harmless.
The October 5 polls will renew part of the Congress as well as electing a new national president and state governors.