This article was published on CityMetric on 20 February 2017.
If you’re late to a meeting with him, you’re fined £50 for every 15 minutes you hold him up. In a city where traffic jams snake for miles and miles along fume-choked highways, it’s a formidable threat. “Everyone laughed at me, but they are all obeying now,” he once explained.
The new mayor of Brazil’s biggest city and the largest in the Southern Hemisphere, doesn’t do things conventionally. And since he took office in January, the city’s collective eyebrows have certainly been raised.
A multi-millionaire mogul who used to host O Aprendiz – Brazil’s own version of The Apprentice – João Doria Jr. has obviously drawn hasty comparisons to Donald J. Trump, erstwhile mogul and Apprentice host, latterly – for some unholy reason – president of the United States of America.
While he personally prefers his likeness to Michael Bloomberg, the stonkingly loaded former mayor of New York City, the Trump comparison is a convenient one. Critics paint him as a reckless irresponsible political outsider, who doesn’t know the ropes of the system and is now burning the sensible policies accumulated by his predecessors with the delicacy and expediency befitting of a media tycoon who used to be the publisher of a glossy magazine called Caviar Lifestyle.