Brazil’s Lula and Bolsonaro are about to face off again. What you need to know
Brazil’s right-wing president-elect Jair Bolsonaro is expected to name his vice president almost immediately after taking the presidential oath. But when asked about his running mate he will have a choice between Jair Bolsonaro, the leader of Brazil’s rightwing political movement PSL (People’s Party) which he founded and which he may have pledged himself as a candidate for, and his former protege, the man many regard as Bolsonaro’s greatest competitor, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, who served as Lula’s vice president for eight years.
In the run-up to the election, PSL was to win a number of high-profile endorsements, including those of the actor Antonio Buarque de Hollanda and the former president of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso. Lula himself was to campaign for Bolsonaro, but he could not guarantee that he would not endorse Bolsonaro himself, or that he and Bolsonaro would not share a message to voters in the run-up to the election.
However, in the race to win the presidency, Bolsonaro has taken control of a party that had long been considered outside the mainstream for its support for a conservative and pro-growth economic ideology. In spite of this, the party has a history of electoral success and a track record of bringing about political instability to Latin America’s largest democracy.
When we met with Bolsonaro at his home this week, we found out he was well aware of this, having talked a fair amount about Lula in the weeks before the election. In an interview with the magazine Veja in March, during an interlude of the publication’s exclusive interview with Lula, Bolsonaro defended his actions as a candidate