Lula’s ranks, between frustration and hope

Sao Paulo, Oct 2 Frustration, but without losing hope. The results of this Sunday’s elections in Brazil have fallen like a jug of cold water among the supporters of former president Luiz Inácio de Lula da Silva, who, however, are reluctant to think of a defeat against President Jair Bolsonaro.

The flags were barely waving on Avenida Paulista in Sao Paulo, when late at night it was certified that the progressive leader will dispute the Presidency of Brazil with the current head of state in a second round scheduled for October 30.

The days before the elections, morale was through the roof in the Lulista ranks. There were reasons for it. Several polls predicted a victory for Lula with more than 50% of the valid votes and, therefore, without the need for a ballot.

The reality today has been different. With 99.8% of the polls counted, Lula obtained 48.4% of the votes compared to 43.2% achieved by Bolsonaro.

The expectations were so high that today on the iconic avenue in the center of Sao Paulo, the most populous city in Brazil, there was a certain discouragement and there were even some who decided to return home early.

That pessimistic climate vanished when Lula, 76, got on the truck parked at the foot of the Sao Paulo Museum of Art (MASP) to harangue the masses with a whole troop of allies, including his inseparable wife, Rosângela da Silva, known as Janja.

“I am absolutely certain that divine justice will make us win the elections to recover the dignity of the Brazilian people,” exclaimed the former president, who governed the country between 2003 and 2010, before a few hundred followers and in the midst of a large police force .

Dilma Rousseff (2011-2016), one of the most chanted, was also present. The former president was exhaustive: “Together we will defeat this barbarian who is in the Presidency of the Republic.”

Lula also recalled that he never won in the first round and jokingly said that fate “wants to make him work a little more.”

“I thought I could catch a few days of honeymoon with Janja (whom he married in May), but starting tomorrow we will be back on the street. There is no rest. Tomorrow, the first meeting,” continued the candidate for a broad progressive front led by the Workers’ Party (PT).

On a cold night, the speech of the considered most popular ruler in the history of Brazil lasted about five minutes and injected some optimism into his people, who minutes before were far from a party and closer to a wake.

“The feeling is one of frustration,” Marcondes Alves, 43, a worker in the gas sector, told Efe, heading home even before Lula appeared on the scene.

“I am hoping that Lula will win in the second round, but I also feel sad to see the elected senators and deputies,” many of them conservatives and allies of Bolsonaro, says Aide Torres, who is wearing a red dress and necklace. .

Gellton Vilhena has gone a step further and has dyed his beard and hair red. She says that this first lap has made her feel a little “scared”.

“Fear of discovering that there is a silenced Brazil that is pulling for Nazism, but I have hope”, emphasizes this 30-year-old.

For his part, Pedro Augusto Domingos, an accountant by profession, foresees a “difficult” and “very disputed” second round in which “every vote” will count.

And to avoid surprises, he has given Lula homework. “The program was not defined” (of the Government) and, on the other hand, “Bolsonaro navigates the cultural issue very well,” he points out.

In four weeks the definition of this presidential campaign, the most polarized in recent decades in Brazil and that promises a tremendous end.

Carlos Meneses

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