Former Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula Da Silva will be endorsed by Sunday's third-place finisher Simone Tebet of the Movement of Brazilian Democracy (MDB) for Oct. 30's runoff against the incumbent Jait Bolsonaro, it was announced Wednesday.
The Workers' Party (PT) leader will also have the support of his former electoral rival Fernando Henrique Cardoso, to whom he lost two presidential elections in 1994 and 1998.
Democratic Labor Party (PDT) candidate Ciro Gomes had already announced he would stand behind the leftwing leader against Bolsonaro.
According to a survey from Globo's Ipec, Lula has a 55% voting intention against Bolsonaro's 45%. Polls had foreseen Lula would beat Bolsonaro by 14 points last Sunday and even hinted the former head of state might clinch victory in the first round. After Sunday's 48.43% to 43.20%, Lula's advantage might be undisputable but his margin is open to questioning.
Tebet, a public enemy of the PT after promoting the impeachment of Dilma Rousseff, obtained 4.16% of the votes Sunday. She stressed that her support for Lula had to do with his defense of democracy. She also left five suggestions for Lula's government program and pointed out that she will work in the streets to prevent Bolsonaro from achieving reelection.
After having lunch with Lula and his vice presidential candidate, Geraldo Alckmin, the center-right lawmaker explained that she could not remain neutral. The MDB had opened the door for its leaders to act freely regarding the presidential runoff. Whether Tebet's 4,915,423 center-right votes will go to the leftwing Lula is another question.
I apologize to my friends and colleagues who implored for neutrality. What is at stake is much bigger than each one of us, Tebet insisted.
I vote for a history of struggle for democracy, explained the 91-year-old Cardoso on Twitter where he published photos with Lula together in 1978 and another from 2017.
Thank you for your vote and trust. Brazil needs dialogue and peace, Lula replied.
Meanwhile, Brazilian center-right Senator José Serra, a former presidential candidate and former governor of the state of São Paulo, also pledged his support for Lula despite his critical stance against the PT founder.
I don't want to say too much, but given the options, my vote will go to Lula, he said. He was Health Minister under Cardoso and lost in 2002 to Lula and in 2010 to Dilma Rousseff.