Over the weekend, the Brazilian Social Democracy Party (PSDB) held its national convention to elect São Paulo Governor Geraldo Alckmin as party chair. The move consolidates Alckmin as the probable PSDB presidential nominee for the 2018 election. Now at the helm of the party, he will be able to negotiate alliances, distribute campaign funds to allies, and benefit from media exposure. But Alckmin’s path to the presidency will be anything but a smooth ride.
Since 1994, the presidential race has been dominated by a clash between PSDB and the Workers’ Party. Lula, the supreme leader of the latter, leads all presidential polls. Unless a court of appeals makes him ineligible for office, his place in the runoff stage seems secured. Alckmin, however, has just 7 percent of voting intentions – it’s a mediocre score for a four-time governor of the union’s richest state and a former presidential runner-up.