Brazil’s Lula and Bolsonaro are about to face off again. What you need to know
“This is what you call a political war”: Lula’s latest gambit.
A year and a half after he lost the presidential election, and two weeks ahead of a runoff, former Brazilian president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva is getting ready to make another bid for the presidency. As he heads to the election of the Workers’ Party’s new leader at party’s national congress in Salvador on Friday, Lula is also hoping to win back the confidence of Workers’ Party base voters, many of whom he lost in February’s election.
As he did in 2015, Lula is looking for allies to help him win the nation’s next presidential election — what he called this week the “most important electoral event in the country’s history.”
In this article, we’ve charted Lula’s path to get there, and how he’ll get through the coming showdown with President Jair Bolsonaro of Brazil, who, in contrast to Lula and the Workers’ Party, was a member of the Workers’ Party when he was president.
Lula’s campaign: “Venezuela, Russia, Iran, Cuba”
Lula began 2015 as the Workers’ Party’s candidate in Brazil, and he went on to lose to Bolsonaro in elections that had been deemed a “landslide” victory for the incumbent, according to election results then. Bolsonaro’s victory, however, only reinforced Lula’s view that he could still win — he had won the Workers’ Party primary election just days before.
Lula has sought to rebrand his candidacy as a more inclusive campaign that would appeal to voters from across the political spectrum, many of whom had voted for him in the primaries, despite his having been out of the Workers’ Party for two decades. He sought to frame his campaign as a struggle against Bolsonaro supporters who were “racists” and “fascists” — alluding to what Lula called the Bolsonaro “policies of hate.”
In the weeks since the election, Lula has said that