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Brazil: Lula's PT in trouble as Bolsonaro closes in

Monday, April 25th 2022 - 09:59 UTC
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While Lula remains within his comfort zone, pressure to go out and look for votes is increasing While Lula remains within his comfort zone, pressure to go out and look for votes is increasing

The Workers' Party (PT) of former President Luiz Inácio Lula Da Silva has been reported to be facing financial problems ahead of this year's elections as President Jair Bolsonaro keeps closing in on most polls.

The PT last week backtracked on the hiring of an advertising company chosen by Lula's former Minister of Communications Franklin Martins who has been handling pre-campaign public relations, citing “administrative and financial” problems.

PT Chairwoman Gleisi Hoffmann has already pushed for a reshape in the handling of PR tools, where Bolsonaro made a difference in 2018. In addition to that, Lula's messages published through videos on social media were criticized in PT circles for their lack of “emotion” and a limitation to past issues.

“We are discussing the communication structure, of the party and of the campaign. We will take the measures we believe necessary, but it is not a relevant problem,” Hoffmann maintained.

According to a study by the IDEIA consulting firm released Friday, Lula's potential edge over Bolsonaro in a runoff is at the lowest level since June last year. Another poll published in March showed the advantage had fallen from 13% to 9%.

“It is very uncomfortable to notice that our defeat in this year's elections is crystallizing,” said lawyer Antonio de Almeida Castro of the Petist (PTs) group Prerrogativas.

According to André César, political scientist and analyst of Hold consulting firm, the PT is taking a “reality shock,” since “with each passing week, Bolsonaro is eating a little bit of Lula's lead. The idea that some people had that he could win even in the first round turned to dust,” said Cesar.

Analysts agree that a significant improvement in the COVID-19 crisis has removed Bolsonaro from the spotlight, in addition to Emergency Aid handouts enacted in 2022, who is also capitalizing on the pulverization of the “third way” former judge and Justice Minister Sergio Moro had embodied.

The crisis in Lula's entourage also follows a series of controversial statements made by the former president on issues such as abortion, labor reform plus an incitement to PT militants to go to the house of parliamentarians to exert pressure on the treatment of certain projects in Congress.

“Many are only now becoming convinced that the idea that the election is already won is nonsense. It is going to be the most difficult since re-democratization,” according to a member of Lula's team quoted by Buenos Aires' La Nación. The identity of the source was not fully disclosed; only that it was a veteran from past elections.

According to the same source, there is also a certain impatience within the campaign command for Lula to start “walking the streets” and meet with Brazilians outside his “niche” of support, something he has avoided in the last activities. “Bolsonaro is already doing that, we cannot stay behind or just limit ourselves to meetings with trade unionists or indigenous people.”

While the PT leader remains within his comfort zone, the pressure to go out and look for votes is increasing. “Until now, Lula has only been saying 'I am Lula', aware of his charisma and the memory of his administration. But the time is coming for him to go out and look for other votes,” said Cesar.

“If the trajectory we are seeing continues, with Lula hitting a ceiling and Bolsonaro rising little by little, the PT leadership will need more than ever to reach a broad understanding. If not, when the difference is at 5 points, an even greater crisis may explode,” the analyst added.

(Source: La Nación)


Categories: Politics, Brazil.

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