Brazilian society reaches the presidential election this sunday after living through an enormously tense campaign. Given the predictions of the surveys, which give Luiz Inacio ‘Lula’ da Silva a 15-18 point lead over the president Jair Bolsonaro, the extreme right has already preemptively questioned the cleanliness of the electoral process, the transparency of electronic voting and the performance of the Superior Electoral Court, which must certify the results of the polls. The possibility that Lula will obtain more than 50% of the votes in the first round has soured his opponent’s campaign to paroxysm, backed by social actors as diverse as the arms industry sector, which has multiplied its sales to individuals in the last four years, and the evangelical churches -30% of the population-, extremely conservative, which have had their main supporter in Bolsonaro. At the same time, a part of the agri-food sector, the banking sector and the media have approached Lula, in such a way that it could be said that the direct election in the first round of the candidate from the left depends almost exclusively on whether he opts for His favor is a significant part of the center voters, 15% of the census, according to the polls.
Some factors play in favor of Lula’s aspirations. In the first place, the change in trend experienced in several Latin American countries, where several progressive presidents have been elected during the last year. Second, the Bolsonaro’s loss of Donald Trump’s sponsorship from the Casa Banca, an important factor in the former captain’s victory four years ago. On this occasion, the only gesture by the United States has been to reiterate its conviction that there is no reason to doubt the cleanliness of the presidential process. A fundamental initiative to disarm Trump’s emulators before Brazilian public opinion, who in November 2020 was proclaimed the winner and immediately afterwards, when the recount gave victory to Joe Biden, he discredited the scrutiny and even today he claims to be a victim of electoral fraud. .
Another factor that explains Lula’s exit advantage is his decision to bring together different sensitivities from the classic right and center to the point of approaching Bolsonaro’s evangelical electoral base and entrusting the vice presidency to Gerald Alckmin, a conservative politician with whom he had often tense competition in the 2006 elections. The maneuver was not without risk in a society as extremely dual as Brazil’s. A part of the Workers’ Party did not hide his displeasure, but Lula chose to take to its last consequences a strategy that he considers a priority, to dislodge the extreme right from the presidency and leave the realization of the program for after the victory.
Different campaign episodes justify Lula’s tact and the moderation of his speech. The use of social networks by the Bolsonaro team to spread falsehoods about his adversary or questioning the judges who released him from prison after a more than dubious conviction for corruption are just the tip of the iceberg. Beneath the surface questions are multiplying about what role the Army will play if Lula does indeed win the presidency without a second round. But four years ago, the uniformed men expressed their support for Bolsonaro and this time they are silent. Perhaps because the behavior of his former comrade in arms at the head of Brazil has been anything but exemplary.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.