Jair Bolsonaro, the favorite to win Brazil’s presidential race, has welcomed comparisons to U.S. president Donald Trump. Well, another politician is being considered the local version of Senator Bernie Sanders: Ciro Gomes.
After the first round of the Brazilian elections, third-place Ciro Gomes and his Democratic Labor Party declared their “critical support” to the Workers’ Party candidate Fernando Haddad. Then, Mr. Gomes went on vacation to Europe. A few days after, his brother and political partner Cid Gomes made a harsh speech during what was supposed to be a pro-Haddad rally in Fortaleza.
Among other things, he said that the party deserved to lose the election because of its pride and air of superiority. Cid Gomes’ speech probably was a response to the outcomes of Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva’s backstage negotiations to keep centrist parties from supporting his brother’s ticket.
The revenge of the Gomes brothers could not have come at a worse time. Mr. Haddad is almost 20 points behind in the polls, and projections indicate that he will lose to Jair Bolsonaro, who will come close to having 60 percent of the votes. In many ways, Cid Gomes’ speech is not far from what other critics say about the Workers’ Party’s mistakes over the years: that Lula and his allies will only negotiate if their conditions are fully met, that the current state of polarization we are experiencing is partially their fault, and that they must address their past mistakes, especially concerning corruption scandals. Cid Gomes said – and many agree – that Fernando Haddad does not deserve full support in light of all these errors.