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Montevideo, September 24th 2023 - 03:05 UTC



Lula was right, what had to be defeated was “Bolsonarism”, but he failed

Tuesday, October 11th 2022 - 10:42 UTC
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Incumbent president Jair Bolsonaro and Bolsonarism managed to take a dominating position in the both chambers of the federal Congress Incumbent president Jair Bolsonaro and Bolsonarism managed to take a dominating position in the both chambers of the federal Congress

Former president Lula da Silva managed to squeeze by with a five points difference in the first round of the Brazilian presidential election when opinion polls anticipated he was seven to twelve points ahead of incumbent Jair Bolsonaro's reelection bid, and could even avoid a runoff at the end of the month.

All of the so called progressive governments of Latin America hailed it as a great victory and the return to the global state of the world's most popular politician, as Barak Obama once described the former union leader and twice Brazilian president.

However what really happened at the beginning of the month in Brazil. In Lula's own words the October struggle was not only about beating Bolsonaro but more importantly, Bolsonarism, a mix of conservative populism and liberal orthodox economics with a significant touch of military presence, to preserve law and order and combat corruption..

And Lula was right, in effect he beat Bolsonaro, but failed dismally when it came to Bolsonarism, the real enemy. The conservative grouping again, contrary to the wishful thinking Sao Paulo pollsters, disappointed them by taking a significant control of the Lower House, and sufficient seats in the federal Senate to also become a commanding force.

The federal congressional election renewed the whole Lower House chamber and a third of 81 Senators, that is 27 benches, and at the end of the day, Bolsonarism can effectively with allies control the next congress.

The current president's Liberal Party managed to increase its share of 77 members to over 90, the largest single majority among the 513 members of the Lower House, known for its proliferation of political parties, willing to ally with fat wallets or defend particular interests. Likewise in the Senate, Bolsonaro managed 13 of the 27 renewed seats, and with possibly another two in the end of October run off.

“Against all forecasts and everybody who was against us, this time we had two million votes more than in 2018” said Bolsonaro adding that he now has the two largest groupings in both houses of Congress, “which was our target”.

Meanwhile Lula's Workers Party had to cancel a huge celebration to be held in the heart of Sao Paulo, Avenida Paulista, since not only was he unable to win in the first round (50% plus one of ballots) but also his Sao Paulo governor candidate Fernando Haddad, ended as runner up, when polls had him an easy winner.

In other words the strong presence of Bolsonarism in the legislative and governors elections, mainly in the much richer southeast Brazil, impeded Lula's quick win and even if he manages to defeat Bolsonaro in the run off at the end of October, his government will have to rule or co-habit with Bolsonarism in Congress.

Bolsonaro boasted to have contributed to the election of eight governors directly, and hopefully a few more in the runoff.

“This is major victory for patriots in Brazil's history: 60% of Brazilian territory will be ruled by those who defend and share our values and fight for a freer nation”, said Bolsonaro. Meanwhile opinion polls indicate that the most certain result in the runoff is 'victory for Lula.

Categories: Politics, Brazil.

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