While the Bolsonaro government is working tirelessly to derail a Senate inquiry into the administration’s pandemic response, former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva continues his roadshow in the capital Brasília, lining up a series of promising meetings with influential political figures.
On Thursday afternoon — while the Senate hearings committee will question Antônio Barra Torres, head of Brazilian health regulator Anvisa — Lula is scheduled to meet with Senate President Rodrigo Pacheco.
With the help of Jair Bolsonaro, Mr. Pacheco was elected to lead the upper house of Brazil’s Congress earlier this year, but there have been doubts from day one about how far Mr. Pacheco’s fealty to the president will go. A meeting between the head of the Senate and the leading figure of the opposition will no doubt cause concern for the federal administration.
This afternoon, Lula is set to meet former House Speaker Rodrigo Maia. While the latter dished out attacks against the ex-president during his term leading the lower house, there has been some rapprochement between the pair of late. When Lula gave his first public speech after seeing his corruption convictions quashed by the Supreme Court in March, Mr. Maia called his words “presidential.”
On Monday, Lula sat down with lawmaker Marcelo Freixo, from the left-wing Socialism and Freedom Party. Planning to run for governor of Rio de Janeiro in next year’s election, Lula hopes to recruit Mr. Freixo and other left-wing parties as part of a broad coalition to defeat President Bolsonaro in 2022.