Days after the first round of elections in Brazil, Gilmar Mauro, of the national board of the Landless Rural Workers’ Movement spoke to Peoples Dispatch about the challenges ahead for people’s movements in Brazil to secure the victory of Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva of the Workers’ Party of Brazil.
Peoples Dispatch: It has been a couple of days after the first round of the Brazilian elections. Can you give an overview of what happened in the presidential elections, and also at the federal legislative level?
Gilmar Mauro: With the elections, from the first moment, we said it would be a war, a war metaphorically speaking. A war to win the elections, a war to be sworn in, a war to make a people’s government. Lula received a lot of votes, although there was an expectation that he could win in the first round, with voter opinion polls indicating this.
It didn’t happen, but it came very close to a victory in the first round, which, of course, creates good conditions for a victory in the second round. Although no such victory is a given.
Ahead of October’s election, with leftist Lula leading the polls, fears are rising of a Bolsonaro coup – meaning it’s the entirety of Brazil’s democracy at stake.
After four years of a right-wing Bolsonaro government, Brazilians will vote for a new president on 2 October 2022. Former president Lula—currently high in the polls—is confronting an increasingly delirious incumbent, who appears to have threatened violent unconstitutional action should he lose.
Bolsonaro’s victory came two years after the impeachment of Workers’ Party president Dilma Rousseff in 2016, the first woman to be president. The Workers’ Party (aka Partido dos Trabalhadores, or PT) had held office since 2003.
The period 2010-2016 was dominated by the ‘credit crunch’ crisis that sent the world into turmoil, with a generalised economic contraction, huge indebtedness in the advanced economies, and a considerable reduction in the consumption of raw materials. Brazil was badly hit. By 2015 GDP had declined by three percent, inflation was high (10 percent), and public debt went through the roof to 63 percent of GDP, making it tough for the government to maintain its poverty-eradication social policies.
Joao Pedro Stedile, leader of the Landless Rural Workers’ Movement (MST) and of the People’s Brazil Front, analyzes the Brazilian political scenario, the role of the O Globo media network, the internal divisions among the putschists, and speaks about the need of building a transition government and the people’s project of Brazil.Read More »