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Lula’s former opponent could become his running mate

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(Bloomberg) — Geraldo Alckmin, a centrist politician who twice tried and failed to reach the country’s highest office, is joining the Brazilian Socialist Party in a step that brings him closer to becoming former President Luiz Inacio Lula’s running mate. da Silva in this year’s elections.

Their alliance, which has been brewing for months, may revive the political career of the former governor of São Paulo, Brazil’s most populous state. Investors and analysts also see it as a sign that the leftist Lula is turning away from radical members of his Workers’ Party and toward more moderate economic views that would help him win over the business and financial elite. from the country.

The former governor is officially one on Wednesday to his new party in a ceremony to be held in Brasilia.

Alckmin, 69, is a founding member of the Brazilian Social Democracy Party that ruled the country for eight years until 2002. The politician, known for his mild manners, came closest to the presidency in 2006, when he finished second in the election. that gave Lula his second term. He tried again in 2018, coming in a distant fourth, his party’s worst performance in a presidential election.

Alckmin had been away from the political scene ever since, until he ended a three-decade association with his party and opened talks with his former competitor. Lula, 76, has made no secret of the plan to draw his former opponent into a broad coalition against President Jair Bolsonaro.

“Being an opponent is not the same as being an enemy,” Lula said of Alckmin on Tuesday in an interview with a local radio station. “If we build an alliance and win the elections, I am sure we can have a great government.”

Although the former governor has lost influence in recent years, the news that he would join Lula’s candidacy sent shock waves through political circles and financial markets in Brazil, contributing to a rally in the local currency. The Alckmin effect, used by Brazilian politicians to explain how the incorporation of his candidacy adds credibility to Lula, has reduced political resistance to another possible Government of the Workers’ Party, which ended badly in 2016 with the political trial of Dilma Rousseff.

Alckmin’s decision is significant given that they joined a party willing to back Lula in the October elections. Meanwhile, the Brazilian Social Democracy Party named the current governor of São Paulo, João Doria, as its own candidate.

Lula and Alckmin are a great complement, according to Antonio Lavareda, a Brazilian sociologist, political scientist and executive director of MCI Strategy. While the former governor sees in the alliance an opportunity to regain power after his dismal electoral performance in 2018, Lula intends to show that he leads a united front against Bolsonaro.

“It’s a strong symbol,” Lavareda said. “Join forces to face an authoritarian threat that could represent the re-election of Bolsonaro.”

original note:

Lula’s old enemy is one step closer to becoming his running mate

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