Presidential vote in Brazil in 2022 will be between ‘fascism and democracy’, ex-leader Lula says
Brazil’s 2022 presidential election will be a ballot between “fascism and democracy,” former leftist leader Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva told Euronews, as he pondered a challenge against incumbent President Jair Bolsonaro.
Lula, 75, ruled the Latin American country between 2003 and 2010, introducing popular social measures that lifted millions of people out of poverty. But the Workers’ Party politician fell out of favor in 2017 when he was convicted of bribery and later jailed for nearly two years. His beliefs prevented him from running in the 2018 presidential election against Bolsonaro.
But Brazil’s Supreme Court overturned the convictions earlier this year, paving the way for him to attempt a third and final term, as the Brazilian leader and the polls currently put him in the lead.
The former leader accuses Bolsonaro of “genocide” for his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. Brazil has the second largest death toll in the world after the United States with more than 530,000 lives lost since the start of the crisis.
Bolsonaro, a far-right populist, is a skeptic of COVID-19 and initially called the virus a “little flu”. He has also routinely contradicted health officials over the need for social distancing measures and has been criticized for the country’s vaccine purchasing strategy, with prosecutors launching an investigation against him last week for dereliction of duty regarding the acquisition of vaccines manufactured in India.
For Lula, Bolsonaro’s rise to power “is the result of a lie, of a farce”. He accuses the current resident of Palácio da Alvorada of having lied “blatantly” during the election campaign.
“So in fact the people made – in my opinion – the wrong decision to vote for Bolsonaro, but it is the risk of democracy, it is the risk of the electoral process,” Lula told Annelise Borges of ‘Euronews.
“The polarization in Brazil is different now. It is not between two sides, a right and a left. The polarization in Brazil is between fascism and democracy. I represent democracy because I come from a democratic party. which has a history of very democratic governance. And Bolsonaro represents fascism. So that’s what is at stake. It’s a real polarization, “he continued.
Lula, meanwhile, dismissed potential concerns about this age.
“I thought that at 75 I would be old, but I found out that I was actually young at 75. And after (Joe) Biden, at the age of 78, I ran and won in the States -United… I was told why not run in Brazil, ”he said.
He told Euronews that he has yet to make his final decision to run but will do so towards the end of the year.
“And if the PT (Workers’ Party) wants – and other allied parties agree – I am fully available to run for President of Brazil and get Brazil back, grow Brazil again, and place the Brazil on the international stage as a country first country, as was the case when I was leading, “he said.