2022 Race

Without Moro, Ciro accepts sitdown with “third way”

Ciro Gomes during a political meeting. Photo: BW Press/Shutterstock
Ciro Gomes during a political meeting in Guarulhos. Photo: BW Press/Shutterstock

Center-left presidential hopeful Ciro Gomes said on Monday he would be willing to negotiate an alliance with parties seeking to build a “third-way” candidacy to fight the dichotomy between former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and incumbent Jair Bolsonaro — the head-and-shoulders frontrunners in all polls.

After finishing third in 2018 with 12 percent of the vote, Mr. Gomes is now polling in the high single digits and has failed to hit the 10-percent mark. Teaming up with center-right parties may well be his only hope of injecting his campaign with resources and political capital to muster an improbable surge in the election race.

However, Mr. Gomes only agreed to meet with the center-right “third way” if Sergio Moro — the former federal judge and Mr. Bolsonaro’s former Justice Minister — was out of the picture. “I told them I’d be disgusted to sit down with an enemy of the republic such as Sergio Moro,” he said. With Mr. Moro seemingly out of the presidential race, his reservations appear to have disappeared.

Mr. Gomes has garnered a reputation for being an incendiary and combative politician, who has burned several bridges between himself and other political forces in the past. Traditionally, he sits far more to the left than the center-right “third way.” 

However, since hiring marketing whiz João Santana to work on his campaign, Ciro Gomes has pivoted to cater to a more conservative electorate. With Lula all but guaranteed to make it to the presidential runoff, Mr. Gomes is aware that his only chance of success involves luring votes away from right-wing President Bolsonaro — a strategy that has so far failed.