Former judge Sergio Moro resigns from presidential candidacy in Brazil; he leaves the contest between Bolsonaro and Lula da Silva

The former anti-corruption judge sergio moro resigned this Thursday from his candidacy for the presidential elections in October in Brazil, in which he was outlined as the main card of the “third way” before the duel between the far-right Jair Bolsonaro and the leftist Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.

“I renounce my presidential candidacy and I will be a soldier of democracy to recover the dream of a better Brazil,” the former Justice Minister of President Bolsonaro wrote in a statement posted on Instagram.

Third in the polls with an intention to vote of 8%, the former magistrate also stated that he will change parties, from the centrist Podemos, which he joined in November, to the center-right Uniao Brasil.

The objective of the change is “to facilitate the negotiations of the political forces of the democratic center that seek a single presidential candidacy,” he assured.

Moro, 49, is a staunch enemy of Lula, a favorite in the polls and whom he sentenced to prison for corruption in 2017.

He is also on very bad terms with Bolsonaro, whose government he resigned in April 2020, accusing the head of state of interfering in police investigations against his relatives.

“Brazil needs an alternative that frees the country from extremes, instability and radicalism,” said Moro, who, according to the local press, will seek a deputy or senator seat.

The polls do not give a chance to a “third way” candidacy, which would avoid a duel between Lula and Bolsonaro in the second round, since none of its potential candidates exceeds 10% support.

For the political scientist André Pereira César, from the consultancy firm Hold, Moro’s departure should benefit the president.

“The one who wins is Bolsonaro, because the voter who would vote” for candidates of the so-called third way “has many more affinities” with him, he explained.

“That voter would never vote for Lula, for ideological reasons,” added this analyst, for whom the probability of a ballot between Lula and Bolsonaro is 95 percent.

According to the latest institute survey DatafolhaLula remains clearly in the lead, with 43% of voting intentions, ahead of Bolsonaro (26%).

The head of state, however, reduced the gap from 26 to 17 points compared to the previous survey, in December.

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