Brazil: It’s Lula vs. Serra

Two and a half weeks before the first round of Brazil’s Presidential election on October 3rd, the “official” candidate Jose Serra (from the same party as President Fernando Henrique Cardoso, the Social democratic Party, PSDB) has consolidated his second position, behind the leader of the polls, Lula.

Luis Inacio Lula da Silva, of the Labour Party (Partido dos Trabalhadores) sees his poll increase from 35% to 39%, according to the opinion poll taken by Ibope. Serra’s poll rose from 17% to 19% while third-placed Ciro Gomes dropped from 17% to 15%, the result of ferocious personal attacks by Serra, who now concentrates his artillery on Lula. Anthony Garotinho received 12% of voting intentions.

Another poll conducted by Datafolha gives Lula 40%, Serra 21%, Ciro Gomes 15% and Garotinho 14%. Serra is expected to begin to attack Lula as being a former metalworker without the political or intellectual baggage to run the Presidency. This was, however, the past image of Lula, who has prepared himself considerably.

He has the institutional backing he did not have before in his three previous attempts to win the presidency on a social message – that of distributing Brazil’s considerable wealth more fairly. In a country with 160 million inhabitants, the elite 5% own 95% of the country’s resources. Lula does not advocate a revolutionary policy and states that he will maintain all contracts and honour all agreements with banking institutions. This “new Lula” has gained the support of the Liberal Party and that of the centre-right former President, Jose Sarney.

For the first time in their history, the Brazilian people have a unique opportunity to take the reigns of their own destiny into their own hands. For the first time in their history, the Brazilian people have a leader they can choose without preoccupations for their own future or for that of their country.

Lula is waiting to become the first President of Brazil who brings an honest, integral programme for social justice in one of the most unjust societies on the planet.


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