• The former president affirms that the country faces a “totalitarian threat” if Bolsonaro is re-elected in October

  • Conservative Geraldo Alckmin, Lula’s former rival, will accompany him as number two of his candidacy

“We want unite democrats of all backgrounds and colors… to face the totalitarian threat“, said Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva formally launching his candidacy for the presidency along with the conservative and former rival Gerald Alckmin, now converted into a running mate. The leader of workers party (PT), who governed Brazil between 2003 and 2010, affirmed that “the serious moment that the country is going through, one of the most serious in our history” forces to “overcome possible differences & rdquor; to prevent the re-election of Jair Bolsonaro in the elections next October.

A survey by the Ipespe polling institute maintains that Lula has an intention to vote of 44%, about 14 points more than the extreme right. For its part, a survey commissioned by the XP investment bank predicts a broad victory for the former president against Bolsonaro in a second round. However, the current president has shortened the differences and the fear has arisen that the elections will be reached in a situation of greater parity among the candidates.

In this context, Lula tries to capture the centrist vote that has not yet opted to join the electoral bloc against the retired Army captain. In fact, Lula sent a clear message to the evangelical electorate that leaned towards Bolsonaro in the 2018 elections. The current government, he said, has been “incapable of shedding a single tear on the face of human beings who scavenge in garbage for food, or of the more than 660,000 Brazilians killed by covid“. Therefore, “you can call yourself a Christian, but you have no love for your neighbor.”

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The outstretched hand of the new candidate has even been extended to those who conspired to have the president removed Dilma Rousseff in 2016 or to put himself on trial. “Don’t expect grudges from mesorrows or desire for revenge,” Lula said. He has also promised to give greater emphasis to the problem of climate crisis to widen their differences with the environmental denial of Bolsonaro. “Fascism must be returned to the sewer of history from which he should never have come out.” According to Lula, the dilemma of October must be faced decisively. “It is forbidden to be afraid of provocation, of false news. We will win this fight for democracy by spreading smiles, affection, love, peace and creating harmony.”

united by fear

Alckmin was governor of the state of São Paulo and ran against Lula in the 2006 presidential election. Former member of the Opus Dei, In these circumstances, he represents the center-right and right-wing sectors that do not want another Bolsonaro term. “No present divergence, nor the disputes of yesterday, nor the possible misunderstandings of today or tomorrow, nothing, absolutely nothing, will serve as a reason, excuse or pretext for me to stop supporting or defending, with all my conviction, the return of Lula to the presidency”, said Alckmin after thanking the confidence of taking him as a running mate.

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