Brazilian former president Lula da Silva is preparing to build bridges with the business community to appease markets and economic agents, given some of his latest statements criticizing policy decisions from the current administration of president Jair Bolsonaro.
According to the bunker of Lula advisors, a goodwill dialogue with the business community is essential, if Lula is to win in the first round of the 2022 presidential election, something similar to what happened back in 2002 when the then-candidate made public an Open Letter to Brazilians, mainly to calm middle-class voters and the business community pledging no surprises.
This time the message must be that the Workers' Party candidate has a balanced approach, reliable and predictable, quite the opposite to what has happened with president Bolsonaro and some of his eclectic, stubborn attitudes, said sources close to Lula.
Lula has been very critical of Bolsonaro's performance, but the economy is run by orthodox scholar Paulo Guedes, a respected figure among the business community. Maybe that is why the former president recently said he would only make a formal announcement about his intentions next year ahead of the October election first round.
This is the correct approach, said Antonio Lavatera, a political scientist who argued that with Lula well ahead in the vote preference surveys, he must be careful about his statements. The recent Datafolha opinion poll has published that if the presidential election was to be held today, Lula would win with 56% of the vote and Bolsonaro would tail with 31%.
When you have a candidate leading with such a margin, everything this candidate does or says will have an immediate repercussion in public opinion and even more significant is a highly sensitive segment such as the financial market. So everything the candidate can do to tame markets is simply by not creating pessimistic expectations, which if he follows will have a good reception from the markets, points out Lavatera.
I also agree that the advisors at the Lula da Silva Institute should plan to win in the first round, but to do this he must calm everyone nervous...the markets will try to tame Lula, and Lula must try and tame markets, that is the name of the game...
So far the former president has erred in his criticisms particularly referred to oil giant Petrobras and its price policy. In effect last month Lula accused Petrobras of raising fuel prices so the company could pay dividends to US shareholders.
Another hike of diesel prices!! This is not to subordinate fuel prices to international markets. What is happening is that Petrobras is accumulating funds to pay US shareholders. There is no other explanation Lula emphasized during a tour of several states, much of which was repeated in the leading media of Sao Paulo, Rio do Janeiro and Brasilia.
More recently Lula also insisted that fuel price increases showed that Petrobras was stronger than even president Bolsonaro.
What is happening is that Petrobras has a leadership far stronger than the president of the Republic. The leadership from Petrobras is showing that it has more power than the president of the Republic, Lula was again quoted in the financial media. Not a smart comment either in a country with a strong presidential constitution and Executive.
The former president added, ”if the (Bolsonaro) does not dare to say that fuel prices will not increase, it's his problem. But it also means Brazil is needing a new president to make justice and fairness with fuel prices”.
Advisors also point out that other controversial and highly sensitive issues are eliminating the cap on budget expenditure and a reform of the banking system.