In this week’s issue: The most important facts of the week. What do Brazil’s presidential candidates defend? After coalition, Geraldo Alckmin up by 4 points in São Paulo. Lula to challenge the Electoral Justice system once more.


The week in review

  • Bolsonaro 1. Far-right candidate Jair Bolsonaro took part in a talk show on Globo News, Brazil’s leading news channel, on Friday evening and created discomfort for his hosts. For much of the time, Mr. Bolsonaro was blitzed with economy-related questions (to which he had very little to say). At one point, he admitted to the possibility of privatizing Petrobras (55% of Brazilians reject the idea, with 74% saying it shouldn’t be sold to foreign groups).
    </li> <li><strong>Bolsonaro 2. </strong>But when questioned about his support to the military dictatorship, he cited a 1984 editorial by Globo&#8217;s founder reiterating the group&#8217;s support for the 1964 coup. The station read a statement at the end of the interview, saying it had admitted in 2013 that the support for the military had been a mistake.</li> <li><strong>2018 Elections. </strong>The Workers&#8217; Party sabotaged an alliance between candidate Ciro Gomes and the Brazilian Socialist Party, which declared its neutrality for the presidential election. Mr. Gomes called the move &#8220;anti-democratic,&#8221; as it leaves him with roughly 30 seconds for ads on TV and radio, which could prevent him from increasing his polling numbers. <a href="https://brazilian.report/power/2018/08/02/brazil-election-ciro-lula-bolsonaro/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">More</a>.</li> <li><strong>Petrobras profits up. </strong>Brazil&#8217;s state-owned oil and gas company Petrobras reported a larger-than-expected jump in its quarterly net profit (BRL 10bn from BRL 6.9bn in Q1), pushed by rising oil prices and diesel subsidies that boosted the company&#8217;s market share. The government&#8217;s subsidies have hurt companies that rely more on fuel imports. <a href="https://brazilian.report/money/2018/05/22/brazil-oil-prices-fuels/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">More</a>.</li> <li><strong>Abortions.</strong> Both pro-choice and anti-abortion organizations spoke before the Supreme Court about abortion laws. The court will soon decide if women should be allowed to abort within the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. The debates continue on Monday, but a trial date has not yet been set.</li> <li><strong>Corruption. </strong>The Feds want to lift the bank secrecy of a company suspected of being a money-laundering front for kickbacks allegedly received by President Michel Temer. He is suspected of having crafted a presidential decree to benefit a port operating company in exchange for bribes.</li> </ul> <hr /> <h2><strong><span style="color: #000000; font-family: 'source sans pro', 'helvetica neue', helvetica, arial, sans-serif;">What do Brazil&#8217;s presidential candidates defend?</span></strong></h2> <p>Based on statements given by presidential candidates, their actions as elected officials (if applicable), and their parties&#8217; values, we have elaborated a chart showing where each candidate stands on the main issues of this election.</p> <p><a href="https://www1.folha.uol.com.br/poder/2019/09/justica-rejeita-denuncia-contra-lula-e-irmao-em-derrota-da-lava-jato-de-sp.shtml"><img class="alignnone size-full wp-image-24509" src="https://brazilian.report/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/unnamed-7.jpg" alt="lula candidates" width="836" height="974" srcset="https://brazilian.report/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/unnamed-7.jpg 836w, https://brazilian.report/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/unnamed-7-257x300.jpg 257w, https://brazilian.report/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/unnamed-7-768x895.jpg 768w, https://brazilian.report/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/unnamed-7-610x711.jpg 610w" sizes="(max-width: 836px) 100vw, 836px" /></a><img class="alignnone size-full wp-image-14162" src="http://brazilian.report/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/2052db6e-a765-46ee-b970-f1eaf639d739.jpg" alt="" width="836" height="974" /></p> <p><em>Candidates displayed from the furthest to the left to the furthest to the right: <strong>GB</strong>(Guilherme Boulos), <strong>MD</strong> (Manuela D&#8217;Ávila), <strong>Lula</strong>, <strong>CG</strong> (Ciro Gomes), <strong>MS</strong> (Marina Silva), <strong>AD</strong>(Álvaro Dias), <strong>GA</strong> (Geraldo Alckmin), <strong>JA</strong> (João Amoêdo), <strong>JB</strong> (Jair Bolsonaro).</em></p> <hr /> <h6><em>Explainer on Geraldo Alckmin&#8217;s striped square on gun control: Historically, Mr. Alckmin has been for gun control &#8211; but recently declared his support for the loosening of gun control laws in rural areas.</em></h6> <hr /> <h2><strong>After coalition, Geraldo Alckmin up by 4 points in São Paulo</strong></h2> <p>Center-right candidate Geraldo Alckmin signed a coalition with Brazil&#8217;s so-called &#8220;Big Center,&#8221; a group of parties deeply associated with corruption scandals &#8211; but the move has given Mr. Alckmin the lion&#8217;s share of TV and radio airtime for political ads.</p> <p>But while the &#8220;Big Center&#8221; is overwhelminglyrejected by voters, Mr. Alckmin&#8217;s poll numbers rose by 4 points in his home state of São Paulo, narrowing the gap between him and front-runner Jair Bolsonaro (16% to 19%, respectively). A possible explanation for this shift is that when Mr. Alckmin&#8217;s candidacy seemed to stall, portions of the right-wing vote migrated to Mr. Bolsonaro &#8211; and these voters now see Mr. Alckmin as a true contender.</p> <p>The polls are not representative of the country&#8217;s entire electorate. However, São Paulo has 22% of Brazilian voters and has been the stronghold of Mr. Alckmin&#8217;s Brazilian Social Democratic Party for decades. If he has any chance of getting to the runoff stage, he must take the lead in states that traditionally vote for him.</p> <hr /> <h2><strong>Lula to challenge the Electoral Justice system once more</strong></h2> <p>Though candidates have until August 15 to formally register their candidacies, electoral legislation states that presidential and vice presidential nominees must be formally presented to the Superior Electoral Court within 24 hours of the deadline for political parties&#8217; national conventions: that is, Monday, August 6.</p> <p>Lula, however, will not budge. His Workers&#8217; Party is set to launch his candidacy today &#8211; without a vice-presidential nominee. The party wants to stick to Lula&#8217;s original plan of waiting until August 15 to make any official move.</p> <p>There are two reasons for Lula&#8217;s strategy: (1) by delaying his move, Lula can postpone attempts of blocking his candidacy; and (2) he still nurtures hopes that center-left candidate Ciro Gomes would accept being his running mate. Mr. Gomes has been isolated by the Workers&#8217; Party and his party called that idea &#8220;ludicrous.&#8221;</p> <p>The strategy, however, is far from a consensus among the party&#8217;s senior officials. Lawyers have advised the former president to stick to the electoral rules. Soon, we will learn of Lula&#8217;s verdict &#8230;

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BY Gustavo Ribeiro

An award-winning journalist with experience covering Brazilian politics and international affairs. His work has been featured across Brazilian and French media outlets.