2018 comes with an electoral climate in Latin America that will represent a turning point, with Brazil as one of the representative cases
In October of this year the Brazilians will go to the polls and elect a new president. It will be the way out of a huge political crisis in which almost the entire political elite is accused of corruption, with a former president condemned, a different former president destitute, and the current president with a popularity that touches the lowest levels of recent years.
The ex-president Lula Da Silva leads all the polls with a margin of 10 points; he is the one who would get the presidential office, but the possibility of his candidacy is still in doubt. Da Silva was sentenced to 12 years in prison for corruption and money laundering. According to the new head of electoral justice, Luiz Fux, following the Clean Record Act, Lula Da Silva to be convicted in two instances "is a dirty card, and who is a dirty card is out of the democratic game". The law prohibits the submission to elections of someone who is condemned in two instances, which happened with Da Silva on January 24 when his sentence was ratified. For the time being, he is the candidate of the Workers' Party (PT), but analysts say he is a political dead despite the fact that the majority of the population with 54% defend their right to run according to the poll of the Vox Populi Institute.
If Da Silva fails to be a candidate, there will be a huge vacuum to fill. The one who seconds in the polls is the deputy of extreme right Jair Bolsonaro of the Social Liberal Party (PSL), who during the impeachment to Dilma Rousseff dedicated his vote to the Armed Forces, to Brazil and "to God above all". He is nostalgic for the military dictatorship, which may be the limit for popular support.
A few days ago the hypothesis that the current President Michel Temer is a candidate took force. The truth is that since the impeachment is repeating that he will not stand for election, but the last actions seem to have a certain electoral objective. The decision to militarize Rio de Janeiro had strong popular support and is the first time that it is applauded by the population. It is necessary to remember that the president only has a 6% approval according to Ibope. This decision is taken by Bolsonaro as an attempt to steal his platform. The presidency denied the presidential publicist Elsinho Mouco, who had assured that the president was already a candidate.
Marina Silva comes back with the Red Sustentabilidad (Red) party, and said: "they subjected me to a process of delegitimization through the dissemination of innumerable lies". The former Minister of Environment of the government of Da Silva put into debate the manipulation suffered by the electorate through the fake news. According to her, she has been a victim of these since 2014 in the previous elections, in which there were false news stating that Silva sought to end the plans to help the poor, prohibit Catholic festivities, and promote money laundering policies.
Fernando Collor de Mello (Christian Labor Party, PTC), the former president who resigned after two years in office for accusations of corruption acquitted by the Supreme Federal Court of all charges that led to his impeachment. Now as a senator, he ran for the presidential candidacy.
If Da Silva were to not participate in the elections, the gap would be enormous, but his support could help position another candidate. The options, according to analysts, would be: the former mayor of Sao Paulo, Fernando Haddad (PT); a more popular candidate, Guilherme Boulos, who is a leader of the Homeless Workers Movement; or the former minister and former governor of Ceará, Ciro Gomes, of the Labor Democratic Party (PDT).
Lula in first person:
The former president declared his election campaign will continue, saying he is calm with the accusations against him because he is innocent and will be innocent. He explained that the accusations against him affected his family, for example, his children are unemployed. However, he is considered as the best president that the country had and for that reason, all the accusations are to demoralize the PT.
According to the head of electoral justice, Luiz Fux, Brazil is facing the most uncertain elections since the return to democracy. Not only are the elections, but the entire process from the candidacies to the election result. The future of the candidates should be defined, especially Da Silva and Temer, who in recent days has been notified that the country's Supreme Court has opened a new investigation against him, the third since he has been in office.
The possible return of Da Silva to the government may mean the return of the left to the government with a progressive tinge, but it must be renewed. On the other hand, the arrival to the government of Bolsonaro would ratify the turn to the right in the region, which would also be deepened by the re-election of Temer.
Latin American Post | Jonathan Carné
Copy edited by Laura Rocha Rueda