Lula is Either Elected or He Will Elect

By Emir Sader on August 3, 2018

Brazil’s Workers Party names jailed leader Lula as presidential nominee. Photo: Nelson Almeida

Every day the Brazilian judiciary shows unquestionable signs that it is acting in a concerted effort in the persecution of the former president of Brazil Lula da Silva. While granting all the requests of accused right-wingers, all of Lula’s requests are denied, confirming that it is indeed a question of a judicialization of politics against Lula. By substituting the sphere of law for the action of political persecution of Lula – seemingly a fundamental objective today in Brazil – and, by being complacent about the coup against Dilma, and with the forged trial against Lula that resulted in his imprisonment, the Brazilian judiciary has become its own party of the right.

The Brazilian judiciary no longer cares about the arguments of the great majority of Brazilian jurists or of the world against the arbitrariness of the judicial decisions taken in Brazil these days. It does not matter that democracy has been violated; it does not matter that the most partial and arbitrary judge that Brazil has ever known is declared by the Judicial Branch as impartial to judge Lula, even though that judge treats him as a political adversary. It does not mind living with the most corrupt government in the history of the country. The judiciary has completely relinquished its functions as the guardian of the Constitution and has gone on to act as a political party committed to trying to prevent Lula from returning to be president of Brazil.

The persecution of Lula has achieved several victories but what it has not achieved is any diminishing in his popularity. The prestige and confidence earned by him from the people of Brazil is without a doubt. They have not managed to prevent Lula from circulating freely in Brazil as an idea. While the government candidates that the judicial branch sees as legitimate have ridiculously low levels of support from the population. Lula meanwhile exceeds 40% and has more committed voters than all the other candidates combined.

In that cell at the Federal Police in Curitiba lies the future of Brazil. The future of Brazil depends on Lula. He has legal conditions to be a candidate to become the next president of Brazil. And, in the event that the judiciary commits other arbitrary decisions against him, Lula will become the great elector. He holds all the cards and conditions to choose the candidate of his choosing and that person will become the immediate favorite to win the elections and subsequently will become president of Brazil. It will be Lula’s government and that president will be the caretaker of the project he represents.

Everything that is important in Brazil today depends on the resolution of this issue, which is in the hands of Lula, as a candidate or as a great elector. Regional candidacies, alliances, support and definitions of relationships with other forces and pre-candidates are all subordinate to this.

What then is the sense of the PT in maintaining and promoting Lula’s candidacy? First, it is to reaffirm their national influence and their right to stand as candidates. Secondly, to guarantee his role as a candidate or major voter. Third, to deepen the contradictions within the judiciary, with fewer and fewer arguments to maintain its support for the coup and subsequent persecution of Lula. And, fourthly, to maintain the centrality of Lula and the PT in the struggle for the reconstruction of an alternative to neoliberalism and for the restoration of democracy in Brazil.

The strategy, despite the blockages in the judiciary, is proving to be successful politically. The other pre-candidates do not have room to grow; some have even sunk to 1% support. The unity of the left depends on the central question of freedom and Lula’s candidacy, because he is the only leader capable of leading the defeat of the coup and the restoration of democracy. It is not because of the lack of merit of other left pre-candidates that they can’t advance, but because of the national polarization between Lula and the right.

Lula will be elected president of Brazil or, in the event that he is prevented from running, he will decide who will be the next president, who will put into practice the project for the reconstruction of Brazil represented by Lula.

Source: America Latina in Movimiento, translation by Resumen Latinoamericano, North America bureau