PES stands square behind Lula in the second round of Brazil’s presidential election

Lula and Stefan Löfven

Pictured left: Brazilian former President (2003-2010) and candidate for the leftist Workers Party (PT), Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, at a meeting in Sao Paulo, Brazil, with Governors and Senators, October 2022 (Photo: Miguel Schincariol / AFP). Pictured right: PES President Stefan Löfven at a PES European Council Preparation Meeting in Brussels, Belgium, October 2021.

The Party of European Socialists wholeheartedly supports former president Luiz Inácio ‘Lula’ da Silva in the second round of the presidential election in Brazil, where he will run against incumbent far-right president Jair Bolsonaro. Lula, from the workers’ party (PT), started his political activity at the Brazilian metal workers’ union, and presided over the greatest income redistribution to lower classes in the history of Brazil.

PES President Stefan Löfven, also with a background rooted in the unions’ movement and a political friend of Lula’s since his time as a Swedish PM, said:

At a time where power-hungry conservatives are whitewashing fascism, we European social democrats stand with the Brazilian left and with Brazilian democracy. The past four years under Bolsonaro have brought Brazilians nothing but rampant inequalities, restrictions of their civil liberties, government interferences in the separation of powers, and a catastrophic management of the pandemic. Brazil needs a new beginning under Lula, a man of undisputed democratic credentials. Europe and the world need a reliable partner like Brazil in these uncertain times.

“Lula presided over the greatest income redistribution in the history of Brazil, lifting millions from poverty and bringing them into education. This was coupled with low inflation and great economic growth: a reminder that growth and redistribution go hand in hand. He tirelessly defends everyone’s rights and he will stand for democracy against the current undisguised calls for dictatorship from the Bolsonaro camp.”

Earlier this year, the then president of the Party of European Socialists (PES) Sergei Stanishev, PES Vice President Francisco André, and then PES Executive Secretary General Giacomo Filibeck, took part in a mission to Brazil organised by the S&D Group in the European Parliament (S&D) led by Iratxe García. European social democrats then met with civil society representatives, with the PT candidate for governor of São Paulo Fernando Haddad, and with Lula himself. Lula was also a key speaker at an PES International conference held in Berlin a few years ago and he is always welcome at the PES events.