Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/272/24547

From The Socialist newspaper, 11 October 2002

Brazil Elections: Lula Close To Winning Presidency

THE WORKERS Party (PT) candidate, Luiz Inacio "Lula" da Silva, got the highest vote in the first round of Brazil's presidential election. ANDRÉ FERRARI of Socialismo Revolucionario (SR - CWI, Brazil) reports on this pivotal election.

MORE THAN 100 million people queued for up to seven hours in temperatures reaching 40 degrees in some areas. Most voters were showing their opposition to the current government and wanted change.

With 99% of votes counted, Lula had 46.4% of valid votes against 23.2% for pro-government candidate José Serra (PSDB - the governing capitalist party). The other main 'radical' capitalist candidates, Garotinho (PSB) and Gomes (PPS) got 17.9% and 12% respectively.

Despite his upward trend over recent weeks, Lula did not make the 50% needed for a first-round decision.

But the result is a major progress for the PT in relation to previous elections and it places Lula as favourite for the run-off on 27 October.

In the state and parliamentary elections PT candidates made huge gains at the expense of the ruling PSDB.

Lula's new image

THE PT majority leadership believes the result has shown that Lula was right to adopt his new "peace and love" image. However, the high vote for Lula is not because he is now ready to sit down for talks with everybody, or dilute the PT programme to reach electoral agreements with former enemies, or mollify international bankers.

People voted for Lula expecting profound changes. The party's roots are among the most politically conscious workers and they felt confused as to what was happening. This helped undermine the chances of a first round victory.

On the one hand Lula portrayed himself as "business friendly" - an indication of pro-capitalist intentions - while on the other hand, the PT leadership had to try and retain its working-class support.

In an effort to stir up the PT rank and file, at Lula's last rally in S‹o Paulo, the PT chairman José Dirceu even said, hypocritically, that the "long awaited social revolution was finally coming". At the same rally, Lula said that the rank and file had no need to worry, and that he would carry out the PT programme when elected.

This confusion among the 'advanced' workers is just what Serra needs to upset the PT's electoral plans and the prospects of genuine change expected from a Lula government.

Lula did not do well in the last TV debate. He made mistakes and came over as not having any position on anything so as not to cause differences with anybody. He even apologised to Serra for perhaps having criticised him and gave no firm or clearly posed answers.

Everything will be discussed and negotiated between workers, companies and government. The social pact is the answer for everything.

This approach could be disastrous in the run-off. Serra does have a position on the coming crisis. He wants to pay blood money to the international speculators, pay Brazil's debt with the hunger of the people and hand over the country to the interests of imperialism through the Free Trade Area of the Americas.

Lula should clearly pose the need for a socialist alternative that does not make the majority of people shoulder the crisis but breaks with capitalism.

Building a socialist opposition

A LULA victory would be a milestone in Brazilian history. A former-worker becoming president in this country that is world champion of social inequality! This could radicalise millions of workers and also stimulate a re-composition and re-organisation of the Brazilian left.

But although it has grown, the PT is still a minority in congress, even in alliance with the centre-left parties. If Lula wins and becomes president there will be enormous pressure to broaden political agreements with the capitalist parties including the PSDB itself.

The socialist left outside the PT did not do as well as it had expected. Two parties described as 'Trotskyist' were running for president. Zé Maria of the PSTU got some 400,000 votes (0.5%). This is double his 1998 vote but much less than expected.

In the final stretch of the campaign, Zé Maria lost the votes of people who are critical of Lula's current moderate polices but wanted a Lula victory in the first round. The PCO got an insignificant 0.05%.

In the first round the PT Left got good results and several deputies were elected at national level and in the states. Some were clearly elected on a Left position.

The positions won should be used to build a solid socialist alternative to the policy of the PT majority leadership. Building this alternative is what will determine the future of Brazil in the next period.

Socialist alternative

IN THESE elections, Socialismo Revolutionario, the Brazilian section of CWI, which is organised as a Marxist tendency of the PT, called for a critical vote for Lula and defended a socialist programme and strategy as alternatives to the position of the PT leadership.

As part of this policy, Miguel Leme ran for state deputy in São Paulo. He is a member of the leadership of Apeoesp, the state teachers union.

Miguel's campaign was not separate from struggle. In the last week before the elections, SR members were leading an important strike of municipal teachers in Cotia, near São Paulo.

Despite all the pressure to moderate the programme and win elections at any price, Miguel got 1,150 votes defending a socialist PT without the bosses.

A fuller version of André's report is available on www.socialistworld.net

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.


In The Socialist 11 October 2002:

Workers Need Wages Not War

PFI Stinks

Unite To Strike Against Low Pay

Debunking Bush's Lies

The System Isn't Working

Socialism 2002

What Lies Behind Assembly's Collapse?

Who Really Fought Stalin's Dictatorship?

Brazil Elections: Lula Close To Winning Presidency

Brazil: Striking Teachers Face Police Repression


 

Home   |   The Socialist 11 October 2002   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  




Related links:

Brazil:

triangleInternational news in brief

triangleBrazil: General strike against Temer regime

Lula:

triangleBrazil: impeachment farce only serves big business

triangleBrazil: Fall of Rousseff unleashes offensive against working class

Elections:

triangleGerman elections: rise of the far right and right-wing government will provoke resistance

triangleUsdaw elections announced - fight for a left leadership, vote for Amy Murphy

triangleHong Kong: mass demonstration against repression

Socialist:

triangleTower Hamlets Socialist Party: "You can't have capitalism without racism" (Malcolm X)

triangleTower Hamlets Socialist Party: Capitalism in Crisis - is Corbyn the answer?

International

International

11/10/17

Catalonia

Catalonia: Workers can finish what Puigdemont won't

4/10/17

Catalonia

Solidarity with Catalonia - the people have the right to decide

4/10/17

Catalonia

Eyewitness: Irish socialist MP participates in events

2/10/17

Catalonia

Exemplary resistance by the people of Catalonia

27/9/17

Germany

Germany: Election results in political earthquake

27/9/17

Catalonia

Strike against Madrid's 'state of emergency'!

27/9/17

Germany

German elections: rise of the far right and right-wing government will provoke resistance

27/9/17

France

French Labour reform protests

25/9/17

Catalonia

Catalonia: Student strike called

20/9/17

Myanmar

Brutal repression of Rohingya people sparks massive humanitarian crisis

20/9/17

Catalonia

Solidarity with Catalonia in the Spanish state

15/9/17

Germany

Berlin hospital strike

13/9/17

Korea

Korean peninsula: is nuclear war likely?

13/9/17

Students

Interview with leader of students' union in the Spanish state: "When we fight, we win!"

6/9/17

US

Hurricane Harvey: A tragedy made far worse by capitalism

triangleMore International articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party

triangle13 Oct The end of the Tories?

triangle11 Oct Nasty party imploding...drive out the Tories

triangle11 Oct CWU fights court attempt to stop national strike

triangle11 Oct The fight against racial discrimination is tied to fighting against...

triangle11 Oct Catalonia: Workers can finish what Puigdemont won't

triangle6 Oct Boeing bust-up threatens thousands of skilled jobs

triangle4 Oct The nasty party turns on itself... but the Tories must be driven out

More ...

triangle16 Oct Teesside Socialist Party: After the party conferences

triangle17 Oct London: TUC lobby & rally; and London march

triangle18 Oct Warrington & St Helens Socialist Party: 1917-2017; the October Russian Revolution

triangle18 Oct Hackney Socialist Party: 100 years ago - the Bolshevik-led revolution

More ...

Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

Archive

Archives:

October 2017

September 2017

August 2017

July 2017

June 2017

May 2017

April 2017

March 2017

February 2017

January 2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999

Legal

SP RSS feed RSS

Platform setting: = No platform choice

V2