The center-leftist Ciro Gomes was made official this Friday as the candidate of the PDT party for the presidential elections next October in Brazil, a contest that has as favorites the leftist former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and the far-right president Jair Bolsonaro.
Third in the 2018 presidential elections with 12.5% of the vote, Gomes, 64, is the leader of the Labor Democratic Party (PDT), which in the past allied with Lula’s Workers’ Party (PT), and is one of the center candidates who aspire to the Presidency, in a highly polarized environment.
“Bolsonaro’s incompetence only aggravated a situation that worsened year after year” in Brazil and the coronavirus pandemic, which leaves more than 620,000 dead, was “enhanced by the genocidal policy” of the government, Gomes said after the PDT approved its candidacy after a convention in Brasilia.
According to a survey by the Datafolha institute in December, Gomes has 7% of the voting intentions, far behind the 48% of Lula, who has not yet made his candidacy official, and the 22% of Bolsonaro, who is running for reelection even though his popularity rating is at an all-time low.
Former Minister of National Integration under Lula (2003-2010), Gomes seeks to position himself as the centrist candidate in Brazil under the slogan “The rebellion of hope”, targeting young voters.
In this bid for the so-called “third way”, the former anti-corruption judge and former Bolsonaro minister, Sergio Moro, with 9% in the intention to vote, and the governor of Sao Paulo, Joao Doria, with 4%. Both center-right and former allies of the president.
Calling Moro “a licker of Bolsonaro’s boots,” Gomes blamed the former judge for having favored the election of the far-right “by removing Lula from the electoral dispute in 2018.”
Gomes begins his fourth presidential candidacy. In 1998 he applied for the Brazilian Communist Party (PCB) and in 2002 and 2018 by the PDT.
The PDT also supported PT candidates in other elections: in 1998 it backed Lula and in 2010 and 2014 Lula. Dilma Rousseff.
A fiery candidate who dreams of refocusing the left, Ciro Gomes was governor of Ceará (northeast), mayor of Fortaleza and deputy between 2007 and 2011.
Specialists consulted by AFP agree that for now there is no candidate with a profile that can surpass Lula or Bolsonaro.