A billboard proclaiming "Join Lula's team" last week in Rio de Janeiro.MAURO PIMENTEL / AFP
Former president Lula da Silva has settled in a luxury hotel in Brasilia for the entire week to meet with deputies and ambassadors. Look for support and allies with an eye toward next year's presidential elections. It is the first time that the leader of the Brazilian left has traveled to the capital since the Supreme Court overturned the sentences that led to prison. After receiving the second dose of the covid vaccine, she takes up the contacts in person that she likes so much. He disembarks in the city just as the opposition has achieved a showcase to hold President Jair Bolsonaro accountable for his management of the pandemic.
Lula, 75, is fully dedicated to doing politics as in the old days after the hiatus imposed by his conviction and imprisonment for the Lava Jato scandal.
In any case, he does not confirm whether he will be the candidate of the Workers' Party (PT).
It says like a mantra that, if you have health, you will be available.
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Last Monday it landed in the capital created by Oscar Niemeyer 60 years ago in the heart of Brazil as a futuristic emblem and to, incidentally, make it difficult for the people to contact their representatives.
During these days he has met with parliamentarians from the left, center-left and center-right.
“He is doing something that in Brazil seems even old-fashioned, old-fashioned.
Talk to people, even people you don't agree with, ”says a spokesman for the president.
The political scientist David Fleischer, from the University of Brasilia, maintains that the founder of the PT “tries to improve his image, which was tarnished after his time in prison.
He wants to show himself as a person with dialogue, regardless of who the interlocutor is ”.
He adds that "now he is in fact assuming his role as a candidate."
Lula, who the judges disqualified during the last campaign in 2018, aspires to expand the electoral base of the Workers' Party (PT) for the presidential and parliamentary elections of 2022. Bolsonaro scored ten points from the PT, which has the largest parliamentary group . He has also met with the ambassador of Germany, a key actor in the environmental issue, the British, those from South Africa, Cuba or Venezuela. "The ambassadors want to know how Lula sees Brazil and he wants to hear from them how we are perceived outside," explains the president of the PT.
After Lula's political resurrection, the elections are shaping up to be a duel between him and Bolsonaro, who aspires to reelection.
The return of the leftist has boosted the PT in the polls, tempered somewhat the hatred he aroused when he was imprisoned, and has made plans to forge a broad candidate for the center to defeat the retired military man very difficult.
The Brazilian political landscape is very fluid.
The parties are quite irrelevant and changing acronyms is something everyday.
For this reason, personal, regional or collective alliances are essential to achieve power.
Lula traveled to Brasilia precisely at the time when the fence around the president has been tightest since he came to power. On Tuesday, the Senate hosted the first appearance of the parliamentary inquiry commission that analyzes "the actions and omissions" of the Bolsonaro Government in the face of an epidemic that has killed more than 400,000 Brazilians. The parade of health ministers has begun, but the testimony of General Eduardo Pazuello, the most awaited - the most sensitive for the Executive - has been delayed. Pazuello was the Minister of Health who in the pandemic said about his relationship with Bolsonaro that "it is that simple, one commands and the other obeys." The police are investigating him for the lack of oxygen that caused deaths in Manaus (Amazonas) in January.
The pandemic and the economy, including COVID pay, are the priorities that Lula wants to address now, as he made clear in his first speech after the court ruling that opened the doors for him to return to the Presidency.
The PT leader wants to promote the expansion of the so-called emergency aid for the coronavirus, reinstated in March but with fewer beneficiaries and money.
Although Brazil is mired in a serious fiscal crisis, Lula considers that "there is money to raise aid to 600 reais with the yields of international reserves" in Brazil, according to his spokesman.
As a sign that there is a quarry, Lula has been accompanied in all the meetings by Fernando Haddad, who in 2018 replaced him as head of the list, and Hoffman, the president of the PT.
Hostility to Lula and the PT continues to be widespread.
It appears in the Bolsonarista marches, in editorials, but also in unexpected places.
Whoever looked for a Wi-Fi network at the boarding gate to Brasilia at an airport in São Paulo early on Thursday, came across one with an unusual name: "Lula é Ladão e Vagabundo."
As it is.
It was impossible for Lula to see it.
He flew to the capital by air taxi days before.
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