Lula is running for president in Brazil

Twelve years after leaving power, Luis Inacio Lula da Silva, an icon of the Brazilian left, must declare his candidacy in front of 4,000 supporters in São Paulo.

On Saturday, May 7, the old lion Lula embarks on the presidential battle in Brazil, ready to battle, at the age of 76, with far-right President Jair Bolsonaro, in a duel that promises to be fierce and which he immediately favors. .

Twelve years after leaving power with a stratospheric approval rate (87%), Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, the icon of the Brazilian left still without a successor, is taking up the challenge. He must announce his candidacy in front of 4,000 supporters gathered in a convention center in São Paulo, thereby raising what was an open secret. This is the sixth presidential candidacy for the leader of the Workers’ Party (PT), a resilient figure as much as necessary in the political scene in Brazil, which he led for two terms (2003-2010).

With no candidate making the third route viable, only Lula can beat Jair Bolsonaro (67) at the polls, who is running away from him in all opinion polls, but seems willing to do anything to retain power. So the fight promises to be bitter between two opposing men who hate each other. The presidential elections on October 2 and 30 will witness extreme polarization in the massive emerging country of 213 million people.

Verbal incontinence

“When I left the presidency, I no longer considered running again”This is what Lula told the American magazine this week time. But the former unionist believes his legacy – reducing inequality, social policies and promoting education – has been. ‘destroyed, disassembled’. “I think I can do more and do a better job than I’ve already done”he said to time. But the context then was quite different. Growth, with rising commodity prices, enabled Lula to lift 30 million Brazilians out of poverty.

This new nomination has a taste of revenge against the former president, whose disqualification from the race in 2018 allowed Jair Bolsonaro to be easily elected. While imprisoned for a year and a half on corruption charges until November 2019, the former metal worker’s political career appeared to be over. Until the Supreme Court overturned his conviction in March 2021. Lula has always said he was the victim of a political conspiracy aimed at preventing him from competing in 2018 when he was – indeed – the front-runner in the polls.

But for millions of Brazilians, Lula and the Workers’ Party remain unbearable corruption. An image that needs to be erased about Lola, as well as the anxiety that has been caused by several slip-ups lately: controversial statements about abortion, about the police, or about the middle classes. In his interview with Time, he also attacked Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, “A good comedian (…) who puts on a show” and he “as an administrator” The war in his country from his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin.

Writer Paulo Coelho denounced in a tweet on TwitterVerbal incontinence Lola and according to Intercept, the entourage of the former head of state encourages him to take a rest. But from next week, Lula will continue his campaign trail and tour around the country – as presidential candidate Bolsonaro has been doing for months – starting with the (southeast) state of Minas Gerais. “If he really wants to win the election, Lula must take to the streets, like Bolsonaro, to be closer to the electorate.”Silvio Costa, founder of Congresso em foco, told AFP.

He formed a ticket with Geraldo Alcumen (69, center right), as vice president. The former governor of São Paulo, if not Lula’s charisma, is there to reassure voters of the center and the moderate right. He will soon meet with powerful agrarians and evangelicals, who played a major role in Bolsonaro’s election. But Alckmin tested positive for Covid-19 on Friday and from his home, by video, will be involved in launching the campaign.

Lula must also bridge, at least a little, his social media deficit against the Bolsonaro clan who use him as a war machine. Already, on Instagram, he enthusiastically throws himself in the waves and wears ultra-fashionable neon glasses.

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