Opinion – Vinicius Torres Freire: The two faces of Lula, leader of democracy under attack and a risk to the economy


The plot of January 8 improved the political situation of Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, at least for a while. The firm support of the PT government for the re-election of Arthur Lira (PP-AL) as head of the Chamber also helps. The Lulian project of getting closer to the governors, treated indistinctly as partners, was facilitated by the coup terrorism of Jair Bolsonaro’s phalanxes.

The outcome of the October election had made Congress very dangerous territory for Lula. The Chamber was occupied by an unprecedented majority of coup, reactionary and negotiator parties. The PL, national monthly, a meeting of avid negotiators with Bolsonarists, left the polls with the largest number of deputies.

The somewhat clumsy distribution of ministries to the right only mitigated the minority situation of Lulism in Congress, see the mambembe negotiation with União Brasil.

Ten days after being elected, Lula began to undermine the economic ideas of the “democratic center”, those elites and very minority slices of the electorate that helped him win the close election.

The PT president and command practically alienated the political representatives of these so-called centrists, giving them an almost symbolic place in the highest echelon of government. So far at least, as far as programs and ideas are concerned, the “broad front” has become a small front. The alliance is more “business as usual”, sharing power in order to get votes in Congress.

The result of the attempt was to isolate the PL and the most lively reactionaries. Parliamentarians run the risk of losing their mandate and being jailed. Furthermore, Lula and Lira agree on the distribution of positions in command of the Chamber and in the Executive. The prebends will be delivered after Lira’s re-election, this week, which should organize the support block for the two presidents, perhaps common.

The most civilized country joined Lula in January. The president took measures to try to weaken the coup d’état in the Army and put the military back in the house, in the barracks, but not only.

Lula helps expose greater barbarities of Bolsonarism, such as the massacre of the Yanomami or the handing over of even larger parts of the country, the Amazon in particular, to organized crime (mining, land grabbing, associated trafficking). Indications have appeared that at least Army soldiers collaborate with the troops occupying crime in Roraima, with miners, as do militias and corrupt military police.

On the other hand, at least in his speeches on the platform, Lula reiterates the program of the “Charter for Tomorrow’s Brazil”. Launched a few days before the second round, in economics the text is generally a mixture of the worst of Lula 2 with the essentials of Dilma 1.

Lula’s recent letter and speeches are generic and, despite scaring owners of big money, they still have no greater practical consequence beyond keeping interest rates and the price of the dollar at excessively and unnecessarily high levels. But then the president shoots himself in the foot. He misses the opportunity to mitigate the downturn in the economy in this 2023.

Lula’s criticism of “liberals”, “market” or whatever could be just a political froth of reasonable changes in economic policy. The question is to know how much of this conversation is rhetoric for the bases or if there is an intention to repeat nonsense and disasters (Dilma 1).

The country is in the mud of misery, the extreme right is huge, almost a popular revolution, there are coup plotters everywhere, Congress changes like dark clouds, and the electorate is divided almost in half. Political support for Lula is unstable. The risk of further sinking the economy is enormous.

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