PT and broader coalition make Lula’s candidacy for Brazilian presidency official

The candidacy of the former president, who will seek his third term, was made official by the federation formed by several leftist Brazilian parties

July 22, 2022 by Brasil de Fato
Traveling to Pernambuco, the former president did not attend the convention, which had no political actions - Vanessa Gonzaga/Brasil de Fato PE

The name of the former president, who will seek his third term, was made official by the federation formed by the Workers’ Party (PT), the Communist Party of Brazil (PCdoB) and the Green Party (PV). Former President Luiz Inácio “Lula” da Silva is now officially the Workers’ Party candidate, as well as the candidate of the federation named “Brazil of Hope”, which combines the three parties. The slate formed with former governor Geraldo Alckmin of the Brazilian Socialist Party (PSB) as vice-president was approved at the conventions held by the federation on Thursday, July 21. 

The events took place in sequence in a hotel in central São Paulo. In the absence of Lula, who is fulfilling pre-campaign agendas in Pernambuco, the conventions had no political actions or public speeches.

According to polls, Lula has a wide lead over second-place incumbent Jair Bolsonaro, who is seeking re-election and will announce his candidacy next Sunday, July 24.

Since the beginning of the year, Lula has been engaged in building a broad alliance to defeat Bolsonaro. One of the fruits of this alliance was the nomination of Alckmin, surprising to many.

As a result of this effort, the coalition “Let’s Go Together for Brazil” brings together seven parties, with PSB, the Socialism and Liberty Party (PSOL), the Sustainability Network (Rede), and the Solidarity party joining the PT, PCdoB, and PV. Together the parties elected 123 federal deputies in 2018, almost a quarter of the Chamber (24%). By comparison, in 2018 the PT only got the support of PCdoB and the Republican Party of the Social Order (PROS) for the slate initially led by Lula, then replaced by Fernando Haddad. 

Lula is now embarking on his seventh presidential campaign and is seeking his third term in office, which would be an unprecedented feat in the country. In 2018, he was leading the polls when he was arrested as a consequence of Operation Car Wash, as the result of illegal maneuvers by former judge Sergio Moro, who became Jair Bolsonaro’s minister after the elections.  

Imprisoned for 580 days, between April 7, 2018 and November 8, 2019, Lula never hid the fact that he intended to run for the presidency of the Republic to prevent Bolsonaro’s reelection and ensure the PT’s return to the Presidential Palace six years after the coup against Dilma Rousseff.

YouTube removes video in which Bolsonaro makes false statements about the electoral system

On July 18, YouTube took down a livestream made by President Jair Bolsonaro on July 29, 2021, in which he made false claims against the Brazilian electronic voting system. 

The livestream content is part of what was featured during a meeting that took place this Monday between Bolsonaro and foreign ambassadors. YouTube is also analyzing whether they will take down the meeting broadcast, also hosted on the platform.    

In a statement, the company stated that, since March 2022, they have been removing content with “false allegations that the Brazilian electronic voting machines were hacked in the 2018 presidential election and that the votes were altered.” Therefore, the content removed this Monday is “one of the examples of what we do not allow according to our anti-disinformation policy during elections.”

Among the fake news Bolsonaro shared during the meeting, he said to the attendees that the electronic voting system cannot be audited. “Only two countries in the world have adopted our voting system. Several other countries either don’t use it or started using it, however, they came to the conclusion that it is not a reliable system because it is not possible to audit it,” he said.

“It is just impossible to audit elections in Brazil,” he added. Bolsonaro also stated that the Supreme Electoral Court’s approach “does not fit the democratic system.”

Bolsonaro’s statements are part of his efforts to discredit the Brazilian electoral process. On several occasions, Bolsonaro has said that he has pieces of evidence that discredit the security of electronic voting machines. However, he has never made them public. 

Lula continues to lead in the polls

A new Exame/Ideia survey, released on Thursday 21, shows former president Lula with 44% voter support, and Bolsonaro with 33%. Both candidates fluctuated within the margin of error, which is three percentage points. Bolsonaro lost the most points compared to the last Exame/Ideia poll, which had him at 36% voter support.

Ciro Gomes, from the Democratic Labor Party (PDT), has 8% voter support, Simone Tebet of the Brazilian Democratic Movement has 4%,  André Janones (Avante) has 2%. The candidates obtained only 1% or less.

“We see a stable number of voter support. There is still no reflection of the impact derived from the government’s measures to pay emergency aid or reduce fuel prices. In other words, this is something we must monitor in public opinion in the coming months. It is worth remembering that the emergency aid [allocated during the COVID-19 pandemic] took about two months to be reflected in the president’s popularity,” explains Maurício Moura, founder of the Ideia research institute, referring to the impact of the constitutional amendment known as PEC for Aid, approved last week.

In the second round, in a dispute between Lula and Bolsonaro, the Workers’ Party candidate has 47% of voting intentions and Bolsonaro appears with 37%. The difference between the candidates increased compared to the survey conducted a month ago. 

The poll considered four other runoff scenarios, determining that Lula would win in all of them. Bolsonaro leads in the simulations in front of Tebet and Ciro, but the percentages in the case of Ciro are within the margin of error and, therefore, are considered a technical tie.

A total of 1,500 people were consulted between July 15 and 20. The interviews were conducted via telephone, with calls to both residential landlines and cell phones. The survey was registered at the Superior Electoral Court (TSE) under number BR-09608/2022.

This article was compiled from several articles originally published on Brasil de Fato.