Former Brazilian president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and the liberal Geraldo Alckmin, one of his historical rivals, took the first step this Friday to seal their electoral alliance ahead of the October presidential elections.
With less than six months to go before the elections, both politicians met in a hotel in Sao Paulo to weave the formula with which they will probably go to the elections to face the current president, Jair Bolsonaro.
Following the established roadmap, the Brazilian Socialist Party (PSB) formally offered Alckmin as a candidate for Lula’s vice presidency and is now awaiting the approval of the Workers’ Party (PT) to definitively consecrate the union, which could happen next week.
In any case, the political marriage of convenience between Lula, the favorite in the polls, and Alckmin finds strong resistance within the most leftist wings of the PT, which do not forgive the liberal trajectory of the former governor of São Paulo.
Alckmin, 69, devoted most of his five decades in politics to the Social Democracy Party (PSDB), which eventually abandoned the center-left it was born into in 1988, to move closer to more neoliberal and center-right positions.
The politician, however, left the ranks of the PSDB last year to join the Socialists and thus make an alliance with the former union leader viable, against whom he lost the presidential elections in 2006.
Lula da Silva and Geraldo Alckmin, with the leader of the Brazilian Socialist Party, Carlos Siqueira, and the head of the Workers’ Party, Gleisi Hoffmann. Photo: REUTERS
Despite the fissures created within his training, Lula continues to move practically all the strings of the party that he himself helped create in 1980 and this Friday staged his alliance with Alckmin with a strong handshake.
“I am sure that the Workers’ Party will approve his name as a vice-presidential candidate,” said Lula (2003-2010) during the meeting with Alckmin, who was governor of São Paulo, the largest electoral college in the country and where holds great influence.
“Alckmin,” he added, “you will be received as an old comrade within our beloved Workers’ Party.”
Dressed in a blue shirt, the former union leader highlighted the experience of both politicians to “rebuild the country” and highlighted the need to “converse with the entire Brazilian society” in case of winning the October elections.
Lula, who recovered his political rights after spending 580 days in prison, made it clear on more than one occasion that he is willing to forget the differences that separate him from Alckmin and in a recent statement he stated that both “have changed.”
The conquest of the center
In his union with Alckmin, a fervent Catholic, Lula seeks to conquer the center voters, as well as the most conservative sectors disenchanted with Bolsonaro, at a time when the politicians of the so-called “third way” have not yet taken off in the opinion polls. of vote.
Precisely, the PSB highlighted in a letter addressed to the PT that Alckmin “has the best conditions to articulate broad political forces, capable of giving the democratic resistance the scope that will allow it to confront Bolsonarism.”
But the balance between the two will not be easyas Lula hinted this week with a series of tricky statements that may have a political price, especially in the most conservative sectors.
The former mechanical turner encouraged left-wing militancy to protest in front of the houses of conservative legislators and openly defended abortiona sensitive issue in a country like Brazil.
Alckmin, a conservative and fervent Catholic, remained silent about Lula’s statements, a gesture that was interpreted as the first test of fidelity in a practically sacramental union.