The center-right Social Democratic Party (PSD) has reportedly given up launching Geraldo Alckmin as its candidate for the São Paulo gubernatorial election. Mr. Alckmin served as governor of Brazil’s richest state for four terms and leads all polls for 2022. But, according to sources quoted by newspaper O Globo, the former governor is leaning towards becoming former President Lula’s running mate in the presidential race.
The alliance would involve Mr. Alckmin joining the Brazilian Socialist Party (PSB), a traditional ally of Lula’s Workers’ Party. However, the race for the São Paulo governor’s office could make negotiations difficult.
The PSB plans on launching former Governor Márcio França, who served as Mr. Alckmin’s lieutenant — while the Workers’ Party wants its 2018 presidential candidate, Fernando Haddad, to run.
A few factors tilt the scales in favor of Mr. Haddad. For one, the Workers’ Party is known for yielding very little to its allies. In this case, polls are in its favor: without Mr. Alckmin in the race, Mr. Haddad leads. Moreover, Mr. França was targeted by a state police corruption probe earlier this week.
Having a bonafide establishment conservative such as Mr. Alckmin as VP would be a massive signal from Lula to moderate factions. Especially after he recently resuscitated unpopular figures responsible for the terrible economic management under former President Dilma Rousseff — handpicked as Lula’s successor in 2010.