The Brazilian Socialist Party (PSB) on Friday made official its nomination of Geraldo Alckmin, a conservative former governor of São Paulo, to be the vice-presidential nominee to the ticket headed by former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. The alliance must still be approved by the Workers’ Party next week — but that should be a formality, given the tight control Lula exercises over his party.
“We will need my experience and that of Alckmin to rebuild the country, in a dialogue with the entirety of Brazilian society,” said Lula during a brief speech at a party function in São Paulo. “You will be welcomed by our Workers’ Party like an old comrade,” Lula added.
Mr. Alckmin and Lula are strange bedfellows. As The Brazilian Report revealed in January, the idea of the alliance was floated by two allies, each of whom is aiming to become the next São Paulo governor. Both would benefit from Mr. Alckmin, a popular politician in the state, leaving the gubernatorial race.
Lula and Mr. Alckmin faced each other in the 2006 presidential election, when one called the other a crook, while the left, which is now set to embrace Mr. Alckmin, used to call him a member of a global conspiracy orchestrated by Opus Dei, a Catholic organization viewed as extremist.
Addressing their differences, Lula said that he and Mr. Alckmin were adversaries, but never enemies. “It is possible for two forces with different projects but sharing the same principles to unite in a moment of need for the people. We have to prove to society that Brazil is in need of love and not hatred.”