Former Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva of the Workers' Party (PT, left) Friday announced in an official manner that his former rival in the 2006 elections, Geraldo Alckmin, will be his running mate Oct. 2.
Alckmin's candidacy for the vice-presidency is the result of most leaders agreeing on the need to form an alliance to defeat the incumbent Jair Bolsonaro.
There were all handshakes and compliments between Lula and Alckmin, who have left behind the clashes between the two in 2006 when they faced each other in a runoff for the presidency.
Alckmin was a presidential candidate in 2006 and 2018 for the Brazilian Social Democracy Party (PSDB, center-right) from which he resigned last year after which he joined the Brazilian Socialist Party (PSB, center-left).
During Friday's announcement at a Sao Paulo hotel, Lula underlined that this agreement [will] allow us to build the best of Brazilian politics so that we can win the elections in 2022, we are going to establish a relationship with Alckmin, from now on you ... will call me comrade Lula and I will call you comrade Alckmin.
The former union leader added that we want to govern our Brazil for everyone and our heart will be turned towards the neediest, he added.
We will treat with the same respect a paper recycler and a businessman, we will treat with the same respect a landless worker and a large landowner, Lula went on.
We need Alckmin's and my experience to fix Brazil, the two-time president between January 2003 and December 2010 also pointed out.
Lula and Alckmin were joined by PT head Gleisi Hoffmann and PSB president Carlos Siqueira.
The Lula-Alckmin ticket still needs to be approved next week by the PT leadership and in early May it will have to be endorsed in a meeting of the regional directorates of this grouping.
I am certain, Alckmin, that the Workers' Party will approve your name as vice-presidential candidate, said the 76-years-old Lula. October will be his sixth attempt at the presidency.
Alckmin, 69, said it was time for generosity, political greatness, detachment and union and to join efforts to take on Bolsonaro, who attacks democracy and institutions.
According to reports, in addition to the duties of Vice-President, Alckmin would also discharge those of Agriculture Minister. The former Sao Paulo governor banks on the support from his constituency after 33 years with the PSDB of former President Fernando Henrique Cardoso.
The PSB said in a letter that we have no doubt that comrade Lula meets the best conditions to articulate broad political forces (...) to confront and defeat Bolsonarism.”