Lula Receives New Brazil Endorsements 10/06 06:12
RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) -- Former Brazilian President Luiz Incio Lula da Silva
received two symbolic endorsements Wednesday as he seeks new allies ahead of an
Oct. 30 runoff against incumbent Jair Bolsonaro to return to the country's
Simone Tebet, a center-right candidate who came third in Sunday's election
with 4% of the votes, and former President Fernando Henrique Cardoso, who
remains highly respected in business circles, have both announced they will
back da Silva, who is universally known as Lula.
"For my love for Brazil, for democracy and for the constitution, for the
courage I never lacked, I apologize to my friends and companions who begged for
neutrality in this second round," Tebet said at a press conference in Sao
Paulo. "What is at stake is far greater than each of us."
Citing a country "divided by hate speech and ideological polarization," she
called her nearly 5 million voters to join her in supporting democracy, adding
that she will be actively campaigning for da Silva.
The leftist Workers' Party candidate came close to an outright victory on
Sunday, receiving over 48% of the votes. Far-right Bolsonaro got 43%. Since the
election, the two men have been on a hunt for support across Brazil and the
Earlier Wednesday, former President Cardoso, 91, said he will cast his vote
for da Silva in the name of "a history of struggle for democracy and social
inclusion," and posted old photos of da Silva and him distributing
pro-democratic pamphlets during the military dictatorship (1964-1985).
Political analyst Carlos Melo said the announcements were symbolic and could
bring crucial votes to da Silva.
"Tebet managed to win votes during the election, she built her own political
estate, not that of her party," said Melo, a science professor at Insper
University in Sao Paulo, also underlying her popularity among women. Meanwhile,
Cardoso could help strengthen da Silva's popularity among those in the business
and intellectual elite that are still reticent.
Da Silva was jailed for 19 months as part of a massive corruption
investigation known as the Car Wash probe, which targeted his Workers' Party
and upended Brazilian politics. The Supreme Court later annulled his
convictions amid accusations the judge and prosecutors manipulated the case
Ex-President Michel Temer and the powerful agro-business lobby in Congress
joined three state governors in Brazil's southeast, the country's richest and
most populous region, in backing Bolsonaro Wednesday.