Lola the ghost, the indestructible lola. Lola and his unique story. Five years ago, he was still in prison for corruption. Justice has since acquitted him. Today, he is well ahead of outgoing populist President Jair Bolsonaro: a lead of between 12 and 18%.
Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has a recipe for winning. At the age of 76, he went through it all: success, fall, death of two wives, a son, poverty, struggle, and experience worthy of gold. Exactly 20 years ago, he became president for the first time. The left-wing metal worker, founder of the Workers’ Party, is nicknamed “Father of the Poor”Then he allied himself with a hard-line businessman from the Liberal Party. “At the time, this choice sent a message to the business community and conservatives that Lula wanted to try to appease and wanted to put in place a conciliatory policy.This is a success, explains Gaspard Estrada, a Latin American specialist at Sciences Po.
Twenty years later, in the face of Bolsonaro’s surplus that threatens democracy and casts doubt on the Brazilian electoral system, he uses the same recipe: he appoints his fellow centre-right, Geraldo Alckmin. “Close to the agribusiness and business community – these large industrial groups that support Bolsonaro -“ Geraldo Alckmin was Lula’s opponent in 2006, Gaspard Estrada recalls. The former president is also supported by 10 political parties from the far left to the center right. The message is clear: Lula will be the candidate of reason and openness and, above all, the defense of democracy that has been undermined four years ago.
“Lola is clearly my favourite.”Gaspar Estrada explains, “But Bolsonaro’s last-minute launch of election-oriented social policies will have an impact. The question is which one?”, reduces the specialist. Also important is Bolsonaro’s rejection rate, Today more than 50% of Brazilians reject the government’s action by Bolsonaro.
To win, Lola can count on this lack of love, but also on his own aura. He’s already been president for two terms, so voters know who to vote for. Lula plays on his golden years in the presidency, when the country’s growth rate was 7.5%, buoyed by a raw materials boom. “what he says of substance”, Gaspard Estrada analysis“It is: I have been able to straighten the country once, can I do it again?”
What about his programme? Here, too, the Brazilian left-wing champion plays beautiful flashbacks. “Between 2003 and 2010, it maintained a very social path, with an anti-hunger policy in particular”Gaspard Estrada notes. During his tenure, 30 million Brazilians were lifted out of poverty and when he left power, he had an 87% popularity rate.
Today, Lula promises to preserve the environment, especially the Amazon. Since his opponent is in power, this core forest of the planet is dying. “Official numbers also show that since President Bolsonaro came to power”note the scientistAnd the Average annual deforestation in the Amazon increased 75% over the previous decade. Lula wants 0% deforestation.
He also wants to revive social policy and give a more positive image of Brazil on the international stage. According to polls, he has a chance of winning “But he still has to provide details of his economic policy.”Gaspar Estrada’s anger. “Lola looks a little at the past and his good years and should start planning more for the future.”