Imbassaí-Mata de São João: political situation.
Imbassaí belongs to the extensive county of Mata de São João. The centre is located in the village of Mata de São João, around 30 miles from Imbassai with a population of around 10.000 inhabitants. The whole count, with all its villages, has a population of around 30.000 inhabitants.
The main part of the county is situated on the coast and consists of more than 10 villages. The main and most well known of them is the famous tourist attraction Praia do Forte where the county has a small outpost. The village depends totally on tourism and its original character of a picturesque fishermen's village has been lost.
A big part of the local population left Praia do Forte, due to the fact that prices are double or even higher compared with other places in the county.
Among the other villages in the county (Açu da Torre, Açuzinho, Malhadas, Campinas, Imbassaí, Barro Branco, Diogo, Santo Antônio, Areal, Curalinho, Sauípe, plus some tiny hamlets with just a couple of houses) Imbassaí is the second most important, both in terms of tourism and economy.
Even though it is geographically bigger than Praia do Forte, Imbassaí boasts more natural beauty and resources while retaining it's character as an untouched country-side coastal village.
Never before had the county of Mata de São João seen such an intense campaign. João Gualberto managed to win the elections and put an end to the prolonged administration of mayor Marcia. Her revenge was relentless. Many buildings belonging to the county were completely plundered. On the rubble left behind and without a penny in the municipal treasury João Gualberto started a new era in the beginning of 2005. Under his administration came an end to institutionalized corruption. He earned the reputation of being an efficient and honest administrator. Even though in Imbassaí he is largely criticized for not having improved almost anything of the rather poor infrastructure of the village. But for most part he is still given the benefit of the doubt. The mayor was recently reelected.
During many years the county was ruled by Mayoress Marcia. Under her administration corruption reigned supreme. A considerable part of the county's funds ended up in her and her family's bank accounts. And another part was used to buy votes and to buy the loyalty of influencial officials. Her electoral campaign was also paid for by public funds, which made it impossible for other candidates to challenge Marcia's rule. But at the latest election an almost unknown and rich businessman showed up: João Gualberto who owned a large chain of supermarkets and had proven capacities as a manager. With the slogan 'everything better than Marcia', João Gualberto gained the support of many locals.