In Brazil, workers defeat Bolsonaro at the polls

3 November 2022: Correspondence from Brazil: Now, it is time to defeat coup actions, maintain class independence and prepare the struggle for our demands and against any attack on our rights! This Sunday (October 30), we managed to impose an important defeat to Bolsonaro (Liberal Party/PL) and the ultra-right in Brazil. In one of the most disputed and polarized elections in our history, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (Workers´Party/PT) won 50.90% of the valid votes, equivalent to more than 60 million votes (60,345,999); against 49.10%, or a little more than 58 million votes, for Bolsonaro (58,206,354).

After four years of a disastrous and harmful mandate to the Brazilian people, especially to workers and the poorest ones, Bolsonaro is the first sitting president to lose reelection. Lula, on the other hand, will be president for the third time, by direct vote.

After three days of silence, Bolsonaro officially pronounced himself, thanked Brazilians who voted for him, and did not explicitly concede or recognize Lula’s victory.

On the other hand, several members of the government and institutions, like the Senate and the House of Representatives, acknowledged the results of the runoff elections held yesterday. Several governments of foreign countries, such as the USA, France, China, Russia, and other leaders, did the same and congratulated the election of PT's candidate. 

The Bolsonarist coup attempts

Following Bolsonaro's loss, thousands of his supporters took to the streets, blocking roads, in an attempt to overturn the election.
Bolsonaro and his allies did everything to prevent his defeat. This Sunday, the final card was the attempt made by the Federal Highway Police (PRF) to harm the participation of the population in the electoral process.
On social networks, there were several reports of PRF operations that failed to comply with the determination by the Superior Electoral Court (TSE) not to carry out operations against the transportation of voters.
The PRF actions were concentrated mainly in the Northeastern region, where PT won by a wide margin in the first round. There were more than 600 actions, of which almost 50% were in the region. The Southern region, a Bolsonarist stronghold, on the other hand, registered only 8% of the operations. The hashtag #DeixemoNordesteVotar (#LetNortheastVote) became a trending topic throughout the day.
On Saturday (29), the violence spread by Bolsonaro´s followers was also repeated. A week after the episode led by Bolsonaro's ally, former congressman Roberto Jefferson (Brazilian Labour Party/PTB) – who received the Federal Police officers sent to arrest him on charges of LGBTIphobia, sexism and other crimes, with bullets and grenades –, the Federal Deputy Carla Zambelli (PL), after a political discussion in the “Jardins'' neighborhood of São Paulo (SP), chased a black man with a gun. The congresswoman claimed that she was assaulted, but the images show otherwise: while chasing the man, she stumbles and one of her security guards even shoots him in the middle of the street.
The use of the entire State apparatus in favor of his candidacy was another hallmark of this election. Bolsonaro took all kinds of populist measures to try to "buy the vote" of the population, especially the poorest ones, who he never considered during his mandate, such as the increase (until December of this year) of the “Auxílio Brasil” (Brazil Aid) benefit, the maneuver to reduce fuel prices and the unrestrained use of the Secret Budget to favor Bolsonaro's strongholds.

Defeat Coup Actions and keep independent struggle

Lula was elected by direct vote and that means a strong defeat for Bolsonaro, the far right and the project of closing the regime that these sectors defend. The defense of democratic freedoms, won in the direct struggle that defeated the military dictatorship, for us is above our differences with the government program and the bourgeois alliances of Lula and Alckmin. 

Voting for Lula did not mean support for the class conciliation project presented by the PT and its alliances with the bourgeoisie. After this important victory with the defeat of Bolsonaro, we must fight, because Bolsonarism is not over.
The election results also show that they will continue with strength in Congress and throughout the country in several states and municipalities. Only with workers' organization and struggle will it be possible, in fact, to impose a defeat to the reactionary project of the ultra-right, as well as guarantee the self-defense of our class. 

We must strengthen coordinated initiatives that allow us to support and organize the struggle in defense of democratic freedoms, respect for the results of the polls, and the right to self-defense of the working class, the leaders and organizations of the mass movement.

Our struggle must always be in defense of freedoms and against any coup-biased initiative, as is the case with these blockades.


(Translation in English from editors)


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