Opinion

Lula and Bolsonaro are not the same when it comes to democracy

Many have tried to portray Lula and Jair Bolsonaro as two sides of the same coin. But Lula has a track record of respecting democracy — which the current president lacks

bolsonaro Demonstration in São Paulo in favor of the arrest of former President Lula, in April 2019. Photo: Jardiel Carvalho/Folhapress
Demonstration in São Paulo in favor of the arrest of former President Lula, in April 2019. Photo: Jardiel Carvalho/Folhapress

In a memorable speech in which he announced his decision to withdraw his presidential bid, former judge (and now former presidential candidate) Sergio Moro stated that Brazil needs an alternative to rid itself of extremes, instability, and radicalization. 

Throughout his short-lived and erratic campaign, Mr. Moro insisted on portraying frontrunners Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and Jair Bolsonaro as equally undemocratic, situated on opposite ends of the political spectrum. Indeed, this false equivalence has been pervasive in this year’s presidential campaign, echoed by pundits, analysts, and voters. 

It is inaccurate to say former President Lula and incumbent President Bolsonaro are...

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