Bolsonaro relies on local leaders for runoff, while Lula takes Tebet’s backing for granted

Brazil’s president, Jair Bolsonaro, is focusing his strategy on relying on conservative state leaders to collect the votes he lacks for the second round on October 30, while Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, with the support already of the PDT and a reluctant Ciro Gomes, is waiting for the predictable alliance with Simone Tebet to be made official as well.

In the last hours, Bolsonaro has received the support of the reelected governors of Minas Gerais and Rio de Janeiro, Romeu Zema and Claudio Castro, respectively, as well as the still head of government of Sao Paulo, Rodrigo Garcia, who will not be able to revalidate mandate after coming third in the elections.

However, the support of the government of Sao Paulo does not seem to be in doubt for Bolsonaro because everything presages that it will be his former Minister of Infrastructure, Tarcísio de Freitas, who will ratify in the second round the result he obtained in the first round against the PT’s proposal, Fernando Haddad.

It should be emphasized that Bolsonaro came out of the first round with about six million votes less than Lula da Silva. The most hopeful forecasts for the leader of Brazil’s ultra-right is to achieve at least three million thanks to the support of Zema, Castro and Garcia, while the other half would have to go looking for it in the northeastern regions, where Lula has some of his main strongholds.

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Bolsonaro’s ambitious aspirations, for example in Minas Gerais, may come face to face with the reality that was evident in that state after the first round, where Lula was the most voted option, recovering spaces even in areas where traditionally the right wing has a voting ground.

For his part, the candidate of the Workers’ Party (PT) and former president of Brazil relies on the support stolen by the Democratic Labor Party (PDT) in the first round and those that the candidate of the Brazilian Democratic Movement (MDB), Simone Tebet, may bring with her, to return to the Planalto Palace more than twenty years later.

The MDB senator, third option of the Brazilians in the elections, will make official her support to Lula no later than this Thursday, according to the Brazilian press, which also reports that Tebet could share with Lula an act in which they formalize this new national alliance in the face of the second round.

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The tone is undoubtedly more mediatic than the MDB expected. The formation has two well differentiated currents, with the north and northeast zone supporting Lula and the south and center west opting for Bolsonaro, so it is foreseeable that it will free its affiliates and voters to opt for their favorite candidate.

The neutrality of the MDB is a way to avoid a rift within the party, since no consensus has been reached when it comes to supporting one of the candidates. Tebet, who already declared at the time that he would refuse to pact with Bolsonaro, held in the last hours a telephone conversation with Lula. It remains to be known if he will share campaign events with him, or if he will give his support in a “critical” manner.

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