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Disappointed hopes in the first round of elections

Monday 3 October 2022, by Israel Dutra, Thiago Aguiar

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This article was written before the first round on 2 October. Its hope was not confirmed by the results - Lula in the lead but not outright election. [1]

The latest Datafolha poll, published on 22 September, leaves open the possibility that the Brazilian presidential election will be decided in the first round. The numbers indicate a decision within the margin of error, with 50% of the votes valid for Lula. The next few days will be decisive.

What we can see in the streets and the election campaign is that there is a social majority to reject Bolsonaro. And a broad unity, from different sectors, to stop any coup attempt by the government. We must defeat the Bolsonaro project immediately, without waiting for the second round, to strengthen the struggle in the streets against the far right.

The nightmare must end

From the north to the south of the country, especially, as the polls show, among the poorest, women and people of colour, a desire resonates: to get rid of the tragedy that is the Bolsonaro government.

Recently, two statistics were published, which shame the country and show that the Bolsonaro government has significantly intensified the structural process of decay in Brazil. In the United Nations HDI (Human Development Index) ranking, Brazil fell three places, illustrating the loss of quality of life of millions of Brazilians. The other alarming fact is the situation of education. According to the Basic Education Evaluation System (SAEB), Brazil has seen a deterioration in student learning at all levels. The biggest and most worrying impact is on literacy, where the decline is even more pronounced.

This is the current government: from every angle, it is a disastrous government. And the possibility of ending it is concentrated now, on 2 October, to avoid an unpredictable runoff and begin the fight for Bolsonaro to be forced to accept the legitimate results of the election.

To this end, in addition to pursuing the street campaign, where we distinguished ourselves as the PSOL and our candidacies throughout the country, we participated in the acts and rallies of the general campaign. It is worth noting the action that was carried out between the former presidential candidates, with the presence of Luciana Genro, which marked an important moment of unity in anti-fascist action.

“We are here to confront fascism,” said Luciana, who ran for president in 2014 for the PSOL and is now running for re-election to the Gaucho Legislative Assembly. “We unite here, around you, Lula, with your name, your political strength, your political leadership as a mass reference for the Brazilian people, because we are convinced that your election will allow us to breathe again to be able to fight for a true democracy.”

In this spirit, preserving differences, but fighting for Lula’s victory in the first round, we are taking to the streets to convince voters in the week that remains.

Transforming votes

In the final stretch, we must continue to engage with broad sections of the population. Not just by distributing leaflets, but by approaching and talking to more people — family members, colleagues, friends, and acquaintances — people at points of high concentration of the public in cities. Every vote is important, and this is not just rhetorical jargon. We are facing an election that can be decided by 1% of the vote, for a definitive victory of Lula in the first round.

We must seek to transform the vote of undecided voters, still suspicious or apathetic; voters who are doubtful about voting in the 2nd round; the voters of Ciro Gomes, who plays a regressive role in this election; and even voters of the radical left, showing the difference between a victory in the first round and a nebulous scenario in the second round.

All this must be combined with the concentrated effort of activists, throughout the country, to elect parliamentarians aligned with the independent and anti-capitalist wing of the PSOL. A struggle that articulates immediate needs with the prospect of another future. Let’s get to work!

23 September 2022

Translated from Movimiento.


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