Anyone who follows the least about Brazilian politics abroad has read or heard statements that, if defeated, President Jair Bolsonaro will not hand over power. For months, by the way, the conditional subordinating conjunction “se” no longer appears in the increasingly common statements and in the most diverse languages. What was a doubt became a certainty. Bolsonaro will lose the election and deliver a coup. From Washington to Beijing, the mood is that former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva has already won. But there is a necessary question that so far no one has asked Lula and Brazilian institutions: what if Bolsonaro wins the election?
The research institutes, the analysts of several of the main media, Bank reports maintain that the above question is not necessary. After all, this Sunday’s election is just a formality. “Lula has already won.”
But I return to the question: What if Bolsonaro wins the election?
Lula, the parties that support him, the Left movements, institutions (among which the Federal Supreme Court and its auxiliary lines in the Federal Court of Auditors and Congress) and the press will be willing to accept the result?
This is a necessary question, but one that has been neglected. As uncomfortable and unlikely as it may seem to many, Bolsonaro could win the election. If the unlikely happens, how will the results of the polls be viewed?
The election of Bolsonaro in 2018 not only surprised, but shocked, those who bet on infallibility of the polls. Problem also recorded in the United States, in 2016, when Donald Trump won an election that was considered “guaranteed” for his opponent, Democrat Hillary Clinton.
It is not a question of doubting the institutes that try to predict the results based on interviews and statistical methods. But it is unreasonable to treat as dogma what claims to be seen as science. Doubt, in these cases, is more than necessary. It’s a virtue.
The climate of “already won” in the corridors of Washington, DC (remember I’m talking about Lula, obviously), is so widespread that it is not discussed or negotiated nothing else without considering that the next president of Brazil will be the PT.
The recent election to the board of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) is perhaps the best example. The Brazilian Jarbas Barbosa was elected with the support of the Bolivarians. A former member of the national leadership of the PT, he was taken to the direction of Opas by the PT godfathers. In addition to the Minister of Health, Marcelo Queiroga, who endorsed the candidacy and determined that heaven and earth should be moved to gather the necessary votes, the PT had the unrestricted support of the Colombian Gustavo Petro, who withdrew support for the candidate from his country and guided his diplomacy working for the PT; and the Mexican Andrés Manuel López Obrador, who did the same in favor of Barbosa.
Not to mention, of course, the support and vote of Cuba, which has in PAHO a kind of branch of your interests in Washington.
It’s no different in the lobbying industry. In an interview with the newspaper Valor, lobbyist Thomas Shannon, who once had the president of Argentina, Alberto Fernández, and the president of El Salvador, Nayib Bukele, in his portfolio, did not hides the support for Lula. For Shannon, who was the US ambassador and temporarily held the position of secretary of state, there is an expectation that Lula will return. According to him, “Lula is well known to the US government, both Republicans and Democrats. The US had a very productive relationship during his presidency.”
Many people think that way. Just as many think that the capital of Brazil is Buenos Aires.
Brazilian democracy is definitely under test. And one of the questions is: what if Bolsonaro wins? In this absurd scenario for many, the will of the majority will displease Brasília’s heavyweights. Would they be willing to subject themselves to the outcome? Or, to “save democracy”, is it worth killing it and then waiting for it to resurrect?