“As pernas estão fracas, mas a cabeça funciona muito bem, obrigado”, diz Gösta Arvedson. Aos 89 anos, ele é o candidato mais velho das eleições para o Parlamento sueco, no próximo dia 14.
Mas Gösta poderia ser um irmão caçula do candidato mais idoso do pleito sueco em nível local: Lennart Israelsson decidiu, aos 98 anos de idade, se candidatar como vereador em sua cidade.
Nada que surpreenda os suecos, um país onde é relativamente expressiva a participação de octogenários na disputa política. Além dos cinco candidatos com idades entre 83 e 89 anos que disputam uma cadeira no Parlamento, nada menos que 600 octogenários disputam as eleições locais.
Os nonagenários também querem ter voz – no total, 21 candidatos com idade acima de 90 anos participam das eleições gerais, segundo números da agência de notícias sueca Siren publicados no jornal Dagens Nyheter.
“A vantagem de ter mais de 90 é a experiência de vida acumulada. Além disso, estou em forma e ainda nem preciso de óculos para ler, por mais incrível que possa parecer”, diz Lennart Israelsson, candidato do Partido do Centro (Centerpartiet) à assembléia municipal de Nassjö, no Sul da Suécia.
O segredo de tão boa forma aos 98 anos, nem ele, com toda a experiência, sabe explicar:
“O que sei é que nunca fumei nem bebi na vida. Em vez de fumar e beber, eu sempre preferi dançar e jogar palavras cruzadas, como faço até hoje. E tenho vivido uma boa vida. A pior fase foi quando a minha companheira faleceu, mas é preciso ir adiante e seguir a vida”, ele disse em entrevista ao jornal Expressen.
Lennart figura no sétimo lugar da lista partidária do Partido do Centro e tem, segundo a imprensa sueca, uma boa chance de ganhar um assento na Assembléia Municipal.
Se eleito, terá que continuar em forma até os 102 anos de idade para cumprir o mandato de quatro anos.
“Ótimo”, diz Lennart. “Assim tenho uma boa meta para me esforçar para atingir. Quero conversar com Annie Lööf (líder do Partido do Centro) e fazer algo de novo pela agricultura, que é de extrema importância para as pessoas. E 98 anos não é tanto assim, é?”, ironiza.
Na Suécia, vereadores não recebem salário – ser vereador é função que se desempenha em paralelo a empregos regulares. Mas dinheiro não é problema para Lennart – ele é um milionário. Nascido em fevereiro de 1916 na localidade de Algutsboda, no sul da Suécia, ele começou a carreira como trabalhador do campo e em seguida tornou-se ferroviário.
Em 1946, decidiu começar a apostar no mercado de ações com pequenas quantias – 34 anos depois, ele acumulou seu primeiro milhão de coroas suecas, e desde então, só viu crescer a fortuna e a fama como filantropo e consultor financeiro.
Já o mais jovem Gösta Arvedson, candidato do Partido do Povo (Folkpartiet) nas eleições parlamentares, é menos ambicioso.
“Conheço muita gente por toda a Suécia, e espero que isso ajude o partido a obter mais votos. Mas minha ambição não é ter uma cadeira no Parlamento”, disse Arvedson, que é voluntário da instituição de caridade Exército da Salvação, em entrevista à Rádio Sueca (Sveriges Radio).
A força da terceira idade ainda se concentra nas municipalidades. Segundo dados do jornal sueco Jönköpings-Posten, um de cada quatro eleitores têm 65 anos de idade ou mais – mas apenas sete por cento dos parlamentares eleitos estão nesta faixa etária.
Já em assembléias municipais como a de Nassjö, no sul da Suécia, um entre cada cinco vereadores representa a terceira idade e leva à pauta política questões relacionadas, por exemplo, aos interesses dos aposentados.
No outro extremo do perfil etário dos candidatos das eleições gerais deste ano está Gösta Andersson, que aos 17 anos de idade concorre ao Parlamento pelo Partido do Centro. É o mais jovem candidato do pleito, ao lado de cinco outros que, na casa dos 18 anos de idade, já lutam por um assento no Parlamento.
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