The escalation of the economic crisis, the discredit of Temer’s government and the recent electoral researches which show Lula in the first place precipitate the debate about the candidacy of the former president to the election in 2018. The ex-president has between 30 and 32% of intention on the first round of the elections.

By Bernardo Cerdeira.


More than 400 intellectuals and artists published a manifest in which they ask for Lula to launch his candidacy. Among the PT, it is something certain already. The ex- president Dilma Russef has already launched Lula’s candidacy on Geneva, at the International Forum of Human Rights.

At the same time, most currents support the ex-president taking over the presidency of the PT during the next congress of the Party, once he is the only leader able to keep the organization united. All this action aims to generate a consummate fact to hinder a possible sentence to Lula on the many suits he faces, which could impeach his candidacy.

Among the left-wing, the majority is debating the conformation of a broad front with progressive parties and forces, and with social movements, for the 2018 election. This was a proposal made by Lula, the PT and the fronts Brasil Popular and Povo Sem Medo. Leftist currents on the PSOL stated that the conformation of a broad front and even the support to Lula’s candidacy will depended on the debate about the program to conform this alliance.

Idle Talk

The speeches of the forces gathering around Lula and the PT follow a round script already rehearsed. Its main points are repeated by all of them:

Dilma’s government would have been victim of a parliamentary, juridical and media coup leaded by rightist opposition forces aiming to unleash attacks with no precedents over workers and poor people. For this to happen, it was necessary to overthrow a progressive government, which was an obstacle to these policies.

The coup would have only been possible because there would had been a turn to the right of the middle class, and even of popular sectors, which since june 2013 were opposing to the PT.

As a conclusion, facing the current situation, the only solution for stopping the growth of the rightists and revert the coup would be the unity of leftists and the so called “progressive forces” in order to build a Broad Front to defeat the “coup” candidates on 2018 presidential elections. Lula is the natural candidate for this coalition.

This “chanting” is attracting not just PT militants as well as an important part of left sectors which used to be critics of Lula’s and Dilma’s governments but apparently forgot the damage theses administrations have done to workers. Actually, these sectors are more interested in their own results, in electing their own candidates, than in offering a real solution to the working class.

Faker than a Three Dollars Note

It is not difficult to show that all the premises and conclusions of this discourse are completely false. Dilma’s and Lula’s governments have never been leftist nor progressive. All the parties and politicians who are today part of the Temer administration, form Padilha to Jucá, from Moreira Franco to Temer himself, from the PP to the PSC, were part of Lula’s and Dilma’s governments, except for the PSDB and the DEM. The right-wing was never out of power.

These governments used the prestige of Lula and the PT at that time to stall the working class’ and popular sectors’ struggle, waving the poorest sectors with minimal concessions and taking advantage from a favorable economic situation.

Even so, the attacks to the workers were a constant during so-called progressive governments. Lula implemented the Social Security Reform for public workers. Dilma began the fiscal adjustment with Levy, attacking the PIS[1], the unemployment insurance and the pension for death. The Social Security Reform was elaborated by Minister Nelson Barbosa during Dilma’s turn.

The higher intensity of Temer’s current attacks is due to the severity of the economic crisis in the country, which has made the bourgeoisie to fight their profits tooth and nail, and to take advantage of the crisis to increase exploitation of working class. It is good to bear in mind that the main promoter of Temer’s counter-reforms, Henrique Meirelles, was Lula’s trusty man and his first option to occupy the ministry also during Dilma’s government. It is not by chance.

Coalition with the “Pro-Coup”

A wide majority of workers and people were not fooled by the PSDB and the rightist parties. On the contrary, they recognized the attacks of the PT to their rights, the disastrous policies that increased the crisis and unemployment and the unrestrained corruption, and they broke with the hated government of Dilma and with the PT. This is the main reason for PT’s crisis and fall. That is why the PT did not manage to mobilize the people to avoid impeachment.

After the impeachment, the PT linked, for the elections, to those whom they had accused of “pro-coup” in hundreds of municipalities. The PT also supported the election of Eunicio de Oliveira (PMDB) for the Presidency of Senate and considered the support to Rodrigo Maia (DEM) for the Presidency of the Chamber of Deputies, evidencing the farce of the “coup” speech.

New Makeup for the Same Old Project

The candidacy of Lula in 2018 means the same old project with new makeup. A government to enrich bankers, agribusiness, contractors and multinationals, continuing the policy of privatization and de-nationalization of the country’s economy.

They intend to rule through the same alliances made over the last 14 years, which means businessmen and several rightist parties, from the PP to the PTB and the PSC. The project Lula 2018 begins in the Broad Front with bourgeoise politicians like Roberto Requião and Ciro Gomes, in order to “expand the range” once in power.

Because of this, Lula and the PT are heading the struggle against Temer’s reforms. On the contrary, they want to direct the outrage to the elections in 2018. Their goal is to stop the popular struggle, deviating it to the electoral process. For the same reasons, Lula wants the PT to abandon the speech of “coup” and focus on broadcasting positive proposals for a new government.

Brazil Needs a Socialist Revolution

The Broad Front and Lula’s candidacy for 2018 are, at the same time, a reactionary project and a lie. A reactionary project because it seeks to give hopes to social movements, workers and the people in a “progressive” government which allegedly tries to “humanize capitalism”. An impossible task once it is a system based on people’s exploitation.

In reality, governments like this work to maintain capitalism, impeding the workers to gain consciousness on the need of destroying it. It is also a reactionary project because it tries to deviate the popular struggle more and more into the dead rail of elections and institutional response through the inside of a deeply anti-democratic political regime.

On the other hand, it is a lie because it is an attempt to sell again the very same project that ruled the country for 14 years, this time disguised by some social movements and leftist sectors who play this sad role. It is an attempt to make workers forget or disregard the lessons of 14 years of PT’s governments, pressured by the comparison between the current crisis and the economic boom of Lula’s government. It is a criminal policy, because it means to cooperate to lead the working class into a new and deeper defeat, into dead end road.

To debate an alleged “more leftist” programme for this Broad Front, as some currents (self-called revolutionary) intend to do is useless. What good do some radical sentences do if the alliances of the Front with businessmen and rightist politicians condition the entire policy and its implementation? Even worse, a programme with some points varnished as progressive only helps to disguise the true nature of Lula’s, PT’s and the Broad Front’s real intentions.

A true left is not supposed to stop denouncing this farce and track the opposite strategy. The only and true solution for the crisis which is destroying the country is to organize workers and popular sectors aiming to defeat the counter-reforms, defeat Temer’s government and open the way to the socialist revolution to set a real workers’ government, based on Popular Councils, to end exploitation in our country.


Translation: Eduardo Correia Neto.


[1] Contribution to the Social Integration Plan.