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Bolsonaro has a new party: the controversial surrogate belly to which Romario belongs and which seeks to lead him to reelection

Bolsonaro has a new party: the controversial surrogate belly to which Romario belongs and which seeks to lead him to reelection

Bolsonaro has a new party: the controversial surrogate belly to which Romario belongs and which seeks to lead him to reelection

It is the party of Romario, Tiririca the clown, and now the president Jair Bolsonaro. The mandatary Brazilian continues to prepare his way to run for reelection in 2022, and for that joined officially on Tuesday in the Liberal Party (PL), a right-wing political organization, but pragmatic enough to have even been an ally of Lula da Silva – Bolsonaro’s main rival – for six years.

It’s about the ninth group to which Bolsonaro is integrated in his long political career – he was a deputy for 30 years – and to which he is now affiliated by legal requirement, as required by electoral regulations.

READ ALSO: Supreme Court annuls evidence against Bolsonaro’s eldest son in corruption case

The president came to power from the hand of the Social Liberal Party, an organization that he left in 2019 shortly after coming to power and has been ruling without a party, although with the support of the influential center bloc, known as ‘centrao’, which groups several conservative and center-right groups and on which a good part of the governance of Brazil depends.

Is your affiliation to the PL, then, just a ‘surrogate belly’ to run for reelection?

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“Affiliation to the PL itself says little about the ideology of the discourse that Bolsonaro will adopt in elections. It is a party historically marked by non-ideological positions, much more associated with a transactional dynamic with the Executive. Rather, it is largely a sign that the president will enter the 2022 campaign with a politically pragmatic approach, combining his far-right speech with frequent nods to the country’s political ‘establishment’., the economist Gabriel Brasil, analyst for Brazil of the global risk consultancy Control Risks, tells El Comercio.

Francisco Everardo Oliveira Silva, known as Tiririca the clown, has been a federal deputy since 2011. Former soccer player Romario has been a senator since 2014. Both are members of the Liberal Party.

In fact, the PL is one of the main groupings of the ‘centrao’ as it has 43 deputies (out of 513 seats) and 4 out of 81 senators. In addition, it governs the state of Rio de Janeiro and has 343 of the 5,570 mayors in the country. The leader of the PL is the controversial Valdemar Costa Neto, a political veteran who initially joined the Arena formation, considered the civic base of the military dictatorship (1964-1985), of which Bolsonaro it’s so nostalgic.

READ ALSO: Bolsonaro assures that Lula has no future and that Moro does not threaten him

As the EFE agency recalls, over the years Costa Neto became a more pragmatic politician, and in 2002 he allied with then-president Lula da Silva, managing to appoint the conservative businessman from his party, José Alencar, to the vice-presidency.

However, his political evolution was tainted when he was part of the ‘Mensalao’ scandal, a millionaire illegal parallel accounting machine run by the PT (Lula’s party) and which served to bribe parliamentarians. Because of this, he was sentenced in 2013 to seven years in prison.

The president of the Liberal Party, Valdemar Costa Neto, was imprisoned due to the 'Mensalao' scandal that broke out in 2005. REUTERS / Adriano Machado

The president of the Liberal Party, Valdemar Costa Neto, was imprisoned due to the ‘Mensalao’ scandal that broke out in 2005. REUTERS / Adriano Machado (ADRIANO MACHADO /)

“The past of the PL with the Lula administrations should have little impact on the image of Bolsonaro among its voters, given that the role of the party in Brazilian politics is recognized among a good part of the population. However, the fact that Costa Neto was one of the main actors involved in the ‘mensalão’ scandal must be explored by the opposition “adds Brazil.

The economist also points out why the president – who still has unconditional followers – has not managed to form his own party and has found it necessary to resort to an already established formation.

Bolsonaro He tried between 2019 and 2020 to found the so-called “Alliance for Brazil”, a party that would serve as the basis for his candidacy. However, a series of coordination and political articulation problems on the part of the president’s group made the initiative unviable. It is true that the pandemic may have damaged the project somewhat (given that the process of registering a party under Brazilian law requires the collection of hundreds of thousands of signatures in person), but, in concrete terms, Bolsonaro he did not form his own party because he never had the capacity for practical mobilization required in Brazil, which is different from mobilizing on social networks ”, Explain.

READ ALSO: At least 8 Brazilian capitals cancel year-end parties for fear of a rebound in coronavirus infections

In pursuit of reelection

Although his application is not yet official, Bolsonaro he already has reelection in his sights. The elections will be in October next year and, from now on, he knows that his main rival will be Lula da Silva, who for now remains a favorite in the polls.

The task will not be easy as approval for his management continues to fall and stands at 22%.

Former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva continues to lead the polls for the 2022 elections. However, he maintains a high anti-vote.  (Photo by NELSON ALMEIDA / AFP)

Former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva continues to lead the polls for the 2022 elections. However, he maintains a high anti-vote. (Photo by NELSON ALMEIDA / AFP) (NELSON ALMEIDA /)

For Brazil, Bolsonaro’s situation in the face of the elections “is very difficult.” “While building alliances with political establishment parties can help you build a stronger coalition (for example, with more resources), your government’s economic performance and stance during the pandemic leave much to be desired. The president will need much more than alliances to make up for that next year. “, aim.

But Lula is not the only rival. They will also try to remove the presidency from Bolsonaro on former judge Sergio Moro, the anti-corruption emblem of the Lava Jato Case and who was also its Minister of Justice, and the governor of Sao Paulo, the center-rightist João Doria.

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