Former Lula da Silva ally targets his voters
Three Brazilian left wing groups have teamed up and last Sunday nominated a woman as candidate for the October 2 presidential election.
Candidate Heloisa Helena Lima de Moraes Carvalho, a former member of the ruling Workers Party of President Lula is supported by the Socialist and Liberty Party, the United Workers Socialist Party and the Brazilian Communist Party.
The former Senator created the Socialist and Liberty Party, PSOL, following her disenchantment with President Lula da Silva's economic policies and the corruption scandals that rocked the ruling Workers Party, PT. In a few weeks she managed to collect the half a million signatures needed to form a new party.
Actually Heloisa Helena Lima and four Deputies were expelled from the Brazilian ruling party when they refused to support a social security reform forcing pensioners to pay income tax. The five protested arguing it was a "conservative" government decision not in line with what was promised by President Lula and the PT. They refused to support the bill and were finally expelled from the party and Congress.
Freshman PSOL and its allies hope to become the "true" successors of the left wing Workers Party and its legacy, which according to Heloisa Helena under President Lula da Silva has turned to the right becoming a "bourgeois" organization.
Public opinion polls show Heloísa Helena and the PSOL grouping with an 8% support at national level and 12% in Rio do Janeiro, which represent 12 million votes. Lately, several other Congress members have voluntarily abandoned the ruling party and joined the PSOL.
Another positive asset of the former Senator is the fact she was an outstanding member of Congress, respected by all parties, and now is campaigning under the "ethics banner", which in practical terms has been abandoned by Lula's party following the string of corruption scandals from vote buying in Congress to skimming money from government contracts.
Pollsters and political analysts agree that given her personal prestige plus the fact it's a new party, Heloisa Helena could subtract traditional votes from the mainstream of President Lula da Silva's supporters.
Last Sunday on her nomination ceremony Heloisa Helena cried but was also challenging recalling her experience in the Senate that she described as "bourgeois territory", where she never gave up her principles nor was her vote "on sale", in direct reference to the Congress scandals involving some of President Lula's closest aides.
Meantime, President Lula da Silva in a Sunday interview with the Paris based newspaper Le Monde and looking ahead to a broader based electorate for the October presidential election said "I never liked left wing labelling".