Former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva called on supporters to vote for the man named to replace him on the Workers’ Party ticket in October’s election.
On Tuesday, Lula said, “I want everyone who would vote for me to vote for Fernando Haddad for president of Brazil. From now on, he will be Lula for millions of Brazilians.”
Lula is serving a 12-year sentence for corruption. He was barred from running by the top electoral court last month. The Worker’s Party has filed appeals to keep Lula on the ticket. But the party confirmed Haddad as Lula’s replacement after a meeting last night.
Haddad and Lula are close in their political views and are said to be friends. But for many voters in Brazil, they are also very different.
Lula is easily the more recognizable of the two politicians. He was president of Brazil between 2003 and 2010. Haddad is largely unknown outside of Sao Paulo, where he was he was mayor for four years. Before running for mayor in 2012, Haddad served as education minister under both Lula and former president Dilma Rousseff.
A poll published on Monday shows Haddad in fourth place with support from just 9 percent of those questioned. Jair Bolsonaro leads with 24 percent. Bolsonaro was stabbed in the stomach at a campaign event last week. He remains in the hospital and is expected to recover.
The Worker’s Party hopes Haddad will gain more support after Lula’s endorsement Tuesday. Haddad delivered his first speech as the candidate in front of the building where Lula is jailed.
He said, “I feel the pain of many Brazilians who won’t be able to vote for who they want. But now is not the time to have your head down.”
The elections will be held October 7. If no candidate wins a majority of the votes, a runoff will be held October 28.
I’m Jonathan Evans.
Mauricio Savarese and Peter Prengaman reported this story for the Associated Press news agency. Jonathan Evans adapted it for Learning English. Hai Do was the editor.
Words in this Story
endorsement – n. a public or official statement of support or approval
runoff – n. an additional race, contest, or election that is held because an earlier one has not resulted in a winner