Former São Paulo Governor Geraldo Alckmin Wednesday announced he was leaving the PSDB after more than 33 years in the party, citing it was time for a change. According to several press reports, he is likely to run for Vice President next year behind the former head of state Luiz Inácio Lula Da Silva.
A doctor by trade, Alckmin explained on his Twitter account he would comment on his future steps shortly.
It's a new time! It's time for a change! In these more than 33 and a half years of experience at the PSDB, I've tried to give my best. A soldier is always ready to fight the good fight with enthusiasm and loyalty. Now, it's time to say goodbye. Time to chart a new path, Alckmin posted.
”I never forgot my father's lesson. Respect for people, loyalty to principles, and strength of character. Only with these values is it possible to build a decent public life. I want to thank my fellow travelers. You were very important on this journey. Every day was worth it. (...) Soon, I will announce my next steps, he added.
According to Brazilian media, Lula has given in a private meeting the green light to a Força Sindical mobilization in favor of a ticket with Alckmin. At the 9th Congress of Força Sindical, the PT leader reportedly signaled he would like to run alongside Alckmin against incumbent President Jair Bolsonaro in 2022.
“He's a person I respect a lot, I like a lot. I always had a great relationship, he was always a good governor. It's a good name,” Lula was quoted as saying.
The guy is good. Keep insisting to build up the ticket. He was good for São Paulo as governor and he will be a good vice (president) for Brazil. Alckmin is an honest person”, Lula reportedly added.
Nevertheless, PSDB loyalists felt disappointed because incumbent São Paulo Governor João Doria, also of the PSDB, has said he intended to run for President, and Alckmin's departure has somehow weakened the party's image. Alckmin had been very much Doria's mentor throughout party ranks.