Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has joined the Liberal Party (PL) under which he will be able to seek reelection in October, next year. With Tuesday's move, Bolsonaro has left behind his discrepancies with the party leadership, most specifically with party chairman Valdemar da Costa Neto.
Also signing his membership into the political group Tuesday was Senator Flavio Bolsonaro, one of the President's sons. The PL is part of the so-called “centrao”, a group of conservative parties which, if combined, have actual control of Brazil's Congress.
Bolsonaro was elected in 2018 as the candidate of the Social Liberal Party (PSL) but resigned his membership two years ago. Then, the head of state and his children launched the movement named Alliance for Brazil, but it failed to garner enough support (signatures) to be recognized as a party by electoral authorities.
According to most polls, Bolsonaro trails former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, of the Workers' Party (PT). Other polls also include former Judge Sergio Moro as third-place finisher. Moro served under Bolsonaro as Justice Minister. Prior to that, he had had Lula incarcerated for 580 days on corruption charges until the Federal Supreme Court (STF) overturned his conviction, which has resulted in the PT leader's political rights being restored, due to which he will be able to run in 2022.
Moro is announcing his candidacy as a compromise choice between Lula and Bolsonaro, but surveys say he would not get past 10% of the votes.
We have already removed the left from Brazil and we do not want them to come back, Bolsonaro said Tuesday upon joining the PL, which is the future of Brazil, according to the President.
Membership is a step to think about something later, Costa Neto said as he welcomed Bolsonaro into the group with the 2022 elections in mind.
We, who have votes and support, must lead the future of our Nation, added Bolsonaro, in a moderate tone.
Between 2003 and 2011, the PL was a key member of the coalition that led Lula to the presidency.