Why do Brazilians workers support Lula da Silva´s candidacy for 2018 elections?

The announcement made by the Workers Party expects to increase the support to Lula in the 2018 presidential votes

Lula da Silva

The Workers Party announced in December 17th a resolution to formally support the Brazilian ex- President, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, in his aspirations towards the presidential elections of 2018. It is worth to remember that Lula was a union activist and was the President of Brazil for 8 years, from 2003 to 2011.

According to the Reuters agency, Lula was convicted in July this year for accepting 3.7 million reals (about 1.2 million dollars) in bribes from an engineering firm. The company asked for benefits in public contracts. Nevertheless, the accusation has not changed the public’s perception of the politician. Indeed, a recent survey released on December 2, performed by Datafhola, puts Lula as the winner of the presidential elections, with 34% of the votes.

The Datafhola study, interviewed 2.765 Brazilians in 192 cities and ranks Mr. Jair Bolsonaro, member of the far-right Social Christian Party, in the second place with 17% of the intention of votes. This mean that Lula´s vote intention is more than double than his nearest rival. Mrs. Marina Silva, from the environmentalist party REDE, was ranked in the third place with 9% of the intention of votes. The recent support announced by the Workers party is expected to increase the intention of vote in favor of Lula.

The results of the Datafhola poll could be explained by different factors. First of all, the current President, Michel Temer, has faced different scandals. According to El Universal, on May 2017, the General Prosecutor accused Temer of corruption after the revelation of audios in which he accepts bribes from a beef multinational. Also, in accordance to Basta Magazine, Temer has been accused of increasing the repression towards landless peasants, which has increased the killings of peasants in 25%.

A bit of context : Lula da Silva convicted on corruption charges

Second, these scandals provide a fertile ground for the population to long for Lula’s presidency again. It is worth to remember that during Lula´s government, the economic growth was of 4.1% per year in average and the country paid all the debt it had with the International Monentary Fund. Additionally, the unemployment rate went from 10.5% in 2002, to 5.7% in 2010. According to El Espectador, poverty also decreased due to subsidies to families that earned less than 80 dollars, which helped 29 million Brazilians to move out of poverty.

It is also worth to notice that Lula da Silva left the office with the highest approval rate in the history of the country, which may explain the high popularity that Lula enjoys in the current pre-election context.

Nevertheless, the international context may also be relevant. It is important to highlight that the regional trend to move to the right of the political spectrum, which may also influence Brazil. For the moment, Lula has an overwhelming majority in the polls, which will most likely rise with the announce made by the Workers Party.

LatinAmerican Post | Juan Cabrera

Copy edited by Marcela Peñaloza


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