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Lula announces Fernando Haddad as finance minister


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President-elect Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (PT) appointed this Friday (9) former São Paulo mayor Fernando Haddad as finance minister. Haddad had been tipped as the favorite for the post for weeks.

A convergence of factors was the basis for choosing the president-elect.

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In the political aspect, both Lula and the PT understand that the Treasury needs to have a name in tune with the public policies defended by the party. He also has excellent dialogue with Vice President Geraldo Alckmin (PSB). It was Haddad who initiated the rapprochement between Lula and Alckmin for the alliance that, in the end, formed the winning ticket for the presidential election.

Haddad have Executive experience. He was Minister of Education from 2005 to 2012, during the Lula and Dilma Rousseff governments. And he also has training for the post. Professor of political science at USP (University of São Paulo), he has a degree in law, a master’s degree in economics and a doctorate in philosophy.

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One of the main assets in his favor, however, is the fact that he has a history of loyalty that has earned Lula’s trust. Haddad was the substitute for the former president in the 2018 election campaign, when Lula was prevented from being a candidate.

In hindsight, the choice now seems to have been made back then. In an interview with the Reuters agency, Haddad said that the former president would have chosen him as finance minister in case of victory in that dispute. “This is not known, but before I was invited to be Lula’s deputy, I was invited by him to be finance minister,” said Haddad.

The new function in the economy, however, is seen within the PT as a test for both, since, until now, Haddad was someone who brought more solutions than problems. The position of Minister of Finance, ironically called by politicians ‘the worst in the world’, includes displeasing the President of the Republic in many cases.

From now on, there is an expectation that the government will nominate names with a liberal inclination for the Ministry of Planning, Budget and Management and the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Services. Within the PT, what is said is that, if Persio Arida accepts, he could be the head of Planning. Persio, however, told the Sheet who has no intention of taking office in Brasilia.

Haddad already follows a more refined routine with the portfolio. On Thursday (8), the day before the confirmation, he met in Brasília with the current minister of the portfolio, Paulo Guedes, and defined a work agenda to have a broader view of the situation of the Ministry of Economy.

On Wednesday (7), Haddad had a meeting with representatives of the World Bank to discuss the organization’s investments in Brazil, currently worth US$ 5 billion.

Starting next Tuesday (13), the former Minister of Education should hold meetings with the National Treasury and Federal Revenue departments, among others, to deepen the diagnosis on what the new government will find at the beginning of the mandate.

Before being confirmed at the Treasury, Haddad was mentioned as a possible minister of other relevant ministries, such as Education, Itamaraty and Planning.

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