2022 Race

Lula’s party caters to center-left ally in Pernambuco, eyeing national races

lula pernambuco
Pernambuco Governor Paulo Câmara and Lula during a meeting on February 4. Photo: Ricardo Stuckert/IL

Former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva’s Workers’ Party gave up on having its own gubernatorial candidate in the state of Pernambuco — a key Northeast battleground. The move aims to pave the way for a national federation with the center-left Brazilian Socialist Party (PSB), which has ruled the state for the past 14 years. 

The decision was sealed during a meeting between Lula and Pernambuco Governor Paulo Câmara, of the PSB. The Workers’ Party will support the PSB’s Danilo Cabral to succeed Mr. Câmara, rather than backing Senator Humberto Costa, a senior Workers’ Party official who leads some local polls.

The main obstacle to the federation comes in São Paulo. The Workers’ Party is in with a shout of winning the wealthiest state in Brazil for the first time ever with former São Paulo Mayor Fernando Haddad. But the PSB insists on launching former Governor Márcio França. Something’s got to give, as a federation could not have two candidates.