By Patrick Foley
Presidential elections take place in Brazil next year and they pose one of the biggest political struggles in a generation.
The country is faced with a choice between the continuation of far-right rule and pandemic mis-management under Bolsonaro; or the return of the most popular-ever President, Lula da Silva.
This is only if Bolsonaro is stopped from dismantling democracy before elections take place next October. The President’s popularity has drastically plummeted, with Brazil’s tragic pandemic death toll rising to over 600,000. In response, he has threatened democratic institutions, claimed that the elections will be fraudulent and said that “only god” can remove him from office.
Threats to democracy must be taken seriously from a global far-right figurehead who has openly voiced his support for authoritarianism and military rule.
It’s crucial that we show that the world is watching and give our support to Brazilian Worker’ Party candidate Lula. If elections were held today, polls show that the former President would win in the first round.
Just two years ago, Lula was in prison after being politically persecuted, jailed and removed from the 2018 election. At the time, he led every single presidential poll – the candidate a distant second behind him was Jair Bolsonaro. Lula’s sentencing judge went on to become Bolsonaro’s Minster of Justice, and the charges brought against Lula have since been exposed as politically motivated.
With Lula’s exoneration and release, his return symbolises the return of hope to Brazil. His presidency cemented Brazil as an economic powerhouse and drastically reduced inequality and extreme poverty across the country. This could not be further from Bolsonaro’s rule.
Jair Bolsonaro’s far-right administration has overseen a destructive environmental agenda for the Amazon; rolled back social progress, workers’ rights, indigenous rights, and healthcare; and drastically exacerbated racism, misogyny and hate in Brazil – one of the most diverse countries on the planet.
The Brazil Solidarity Initiative will be hosting an important election briefing with Brazilian Workers’ Party’s (PT) Secretary for Combatting Racism Martvs Chagas; Nathalia Urban journalist for Brasil Wire; Richard Burgon MP; Alex Main, Policy Analyst for the Center for Economic and Policy Research (US); and Stephen Russell, International Officer for the Trades Union Congress, at 6.30PM on Thursday December 9th.
Our international solidarity and support for the resistance against Bolsonaro will be a key asset for the hundreds of thousands of Brazilians taking a stand across the country.
The Brazil Solidarity Initiative are hosting an important Brazil Elections 2022 briefing on Thursday, December 9th at 6.30PM – with Martvs Chagas, PT Secretary for Combatting Racism; Richard Burgon MP; Nathalia Urban, Brasil Wire; and more. Register here.
You can follow the Brazil Solidarity Initiative on Facebook and twitter or find out more on their website.
Patrick Foley is an activist with the Brazil Solidarity Initiative