Lula (PT) and Bolsonaro (PL) will contest second round of presidential elections

Lula and Bolsonaro

Lula and Bolsonaro

photo: Reuters

the candidates Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (PT) and Jair Bolsonaro (PL) will dispute the second round of Presidential elections on Sunday October 30th. With 96.93% of the polls counted, the PT had 47.85%, against 43.70% for the president.

The poll results confirmed the trend pointed out by electoral polls since the beginning of the presidential race. The PT always appeared in front in popular preference in all surveys, followed by the current chief executive.

During the campaign, some surveys even pointed to a possible Lula in the 1st round, but Bolsonaro managed to win votes in the final stretch and take the decision to the 2nd round.

Follow the results of the first round of elections in real time.

The presidential race was marked by cases of violence due to the polarization between supporters of Lula and Bolsonaro. From the murder of a supporter of Lula in Foz do Iguaçu (PR), in July, to the stabbing death of a PT voter in the interior of Mato Grosso during the September 7th holiday, cases of politically motivated attacks and deaths increased across the country.

Lula’s Campaign

In the 2018 Elections, Lula was prevented by the Electoral Justice from contesting the presidential elections because of the Clean Record Law. At the time, he was being held at the Federal Police headquarters in Curitiba, Paraná, where he was serving time for convictions in Operation Lava Jato.

In November 2019, after 580 days in prison, PT was released because of a decision by the STF that prohibits arrests in the 2nd instance. Subsequently, also by order of the Court, the sentences related to Lava Jato were annulled.

Despite strong opposition to the government of Jair Bolsonaro, Lula avoided confirming his intention to run for the Palácio do Planalto soon after leaving prison, when he had not yet regained his political rights. Only in the first half of this year, the PT publicly positioned himself on the desire to try a third presidential term.

“If I am in the best position to win the presidential election and I am in good health, yes, I will not hesitate. I think I was a good president,” he declared in interview for the French publication Paris Matchin May.

At the launch of your pre-applicationOn May 7, Lula strongly criticized Jair Bolsonaro, celebrated the ticket with Geraldo Alckmin (PSB) – a former political opponent in favor of democracy and spoke of restoring the sovereignty of Brazil and the Brazilian people.

Throughout the campaign, PT criticized the current federal government and said that the Brazilian people were happier in his term. He defended the partnership with Alckmin, said that they were never enemies, but political opponents, and are now together to defend democracy.

Bolsonaro Campaign

Seeking reelection, Jair Bolsonaro made his candidacy for reelection official on July 24. The announcement was made at a PL event held at the Maracanãzinho gymnasium, in Rio de Janeiro, where the party’s convention for the official launch of the electoral campaign took place. The name of reserve general Walter Braga Netto was also sealed as a candidate for vice on the ticket.

At September 7th celebrations were a controversial point in the campaign. On the occasion, the president used the date for the electoral platform. He participated in the civic-military parade, made a speech in Brasília, in which he led the chorus of “imbrochable”, and was also present on the edge of Copacabana, in Rio, where he also spoke on top of an electric trio.

Both Lula and Bolsonaro were also featured in presidential debates, such as the from the band and the one TV Globo. But in the debate held by EarthSBT, CNN, ‘Estadão’/Rádio Eldorado, Veja and Rádio Nova Brasil FM, Lula did not attend and his absence became a topic among candidates.

Lula focused on a campaign with a strong presence on the streets and speeches on platforms, refusing some invitations to interviews and hearings. Bolsonaro, in addition to events with allies, had a more intense presence in the media, participating in podcasts and television programs.

Lula’s trajectory

Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva was born on October 27, 1945 in Garanhuns, Pernambuco, and migrated as a child to São Paulo, a city where he worked as a metallurgist and, in this way, went on to create a leadership as a trade unionist. During the period of the military dictatorship (1964 – 1985) he organized and participated in several strikes in the category in ABC Paulista, having been arrested for this, and, in the 1980s, he helped to create the Workers’ Party (PT).

Lula was also known as one of the faces of the Diretas Já movement, which demanded a direct vote to elect the president of Brazil. During this period, he began his career in politics when he was elected federal deputy for São Paulo in 1986. Years later, in 1989, Lula ran in his first election for the Presidency of the Republic, having lost in the second round to Fernando Collor de Mello. The PT even tried to be elected president twice: in 1994 and 1998, both occasions in which he lost the election to Fernando Henrique Cardoso.

In 2002, Lula was elected president of Brazil, defeating José Serra in the second round of that year’s election. The Lula government had social programs such as Bolsa Família and Fome Zero as landmarks, and, surfing the wave of commodities – which helped the Brazilian economy at the time – was considered one of the most popular presidents in the country.

At the end of his first term, his government was tainted by the corruption scheme known as Mensalão, a vote-buying scandal that nearly toppled him from power. Even so, in 2006, Lula was reelected, winning in the second round against Geraldo Alckmin – today his vice president.

With the end of his two terms, Lula still managed to leave the command of the country with his successor, Dilma Rousseff, who also faced corruption scandals – the so-called Petrolão. Dilma was re-elected in 2014, defeating Aécio Neves at the polls, but was impeached in 2016, leaving the Executive to her deputy, Michel Temer.

The Petrolão scandal had consequences for Lula even outside the presidency. The PT was sentenced by Judge Sergio Moro, then head of Lava Jato investigations in Paraná, to nine years and six months in prison for corruption and money laundering. The sentence was confirmed in the second instance and Lula surrendered to the authorities in 2018, being released only the following year. Because of the arrest, Lula cannot run as a candidate for the presidency in the 2018 elections, won by Jair Bolsonaro. In 2021, PT regained his political rights after a decision by the STF that considered that Moro acted partially in the execution of Lula’s sentence, and overturned the convictions in the process.

Bolsonaro’s trajectory

Jair Messias Bolsonaro was born in Glicério, in the interior of São Paulo, and began his military career in Rio de Janeiro, graduating from the Academia Militar das Agulhas Negras in 1977. In 1986, while still in the military, Bolsonaro gained prominence because of an article for Veja magazine in which he criticized the salary of the category. By the text, he was arrested. After being transferred to the reserve, Jair began his political life when he was elected councilor of Rio de Janeiro in 1986.

From there, Bolsonaro began a series of terms in the Chamber of Deputies, in Brasília, his first election being in 1990. He spent 27 years as a deputy and, despite his low relevance, he gained prominence with controversial comments against women, homosexuals and in favor of military dictatorship.

During the PT governments, Jair Bolsonaro gained prominence by strongly opposing the government, and came to be seen as an anti-PT figure. With this image, he launched his candidacy for the Presidency of the Republic in 2018 by the PSL. He won the election after a dispute in the second round against Fernando Haddad (PT).

Throughout his term, Bolsonaro has several exchanges of ministersstrengthened ties with the Armed forceshas strengthened relations with countries with right-wing governments, relaxed environmental protection laws, invested in pro-gun decrees and was the target of a CPI because of his performance during the pandemic of Covid-19 in Brazil.

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