Right after the official announcement by the TSE that there would be a presidential election runoff, past Monday morning, PCdoB’s national President, Renato Rabelo, analyzed the results. For him, the first round confirmed the strength of President Lula, "who has been targeted by a sordid campaign by the opposition and the media", and reveals an urgency for "gathering forces and concentrating all energies for the runoff battle. The moment requires the concentrated persistence of all democrats, patriots and truly left-wing trends in order to stop the risk of a counterblow by the neoliberal right."
Renato Rabelo, PCdoB’s national President
How do you analyze the partial results of the presidential elections, according to which President Lula has aljost 50% of the votes now (49.79%), thus leading to a runoff?
Renato Rabelo: First of all, it is necessary to highlight President Lula’s strength. In face of such a violent attack, none of the other candidates would have that expressive voting. Since last year, right-wing opposition and the media develop an intense campaign to wear out and knock down the present government. President Lula did not only resist to the offensive, but also consolidated his voting in broad sectors of the society, in special in popular strata. In the past two weeks, with the explosion of the new political crisis, of the so-called "dossiers war", the right wing and the media reinforced even more its coup-like discourse. There has never been such hatred by the conservative elites towards any other government in Brazil. The offensive, that already was brutal, became even worst.
The conservative-liberal opposition showed that it does not tolerate democracy. It forged all sorts of lies and claimed for the coup. It has made clear that it would not accept President Lula’s victory, that it would do everything to take the decision to a runoff. Even worse: it announced that it would not tolerate President Lula’s reelection, that it would try to prevent him of taking office. In case that coup did not work, it announced that it would bet everything on an impeachment in the second mandate.
Media’s role in that process was one of the jost disgusting in our history. An independent journalist Luis Nassif wrote "there has been a real competition in the media to see who would knock President Lula down first".
Despite that setup from the opposition and media, President Lula aljost got the absolute majority of the ballots. That is what should be highlighted at this point. That is our patrimony, our capital in the runoff battle. It is necessary to highlight that neoliberal right wing avoided the programmatic debate and the comparisons between President Lula’s government and the one of former president Fernando Henrique Cardoso. As for the corruption issue, it is necessary to explain that there has never been so much investigation of illicit acts as in Lula’s administration. While Fernando Henrique Cardoso hid the frauds in privatizations, the purchase of votes for his reelection, the favoring of bankers, Lula’s government claimed several bodies, such as the Federal Police, in order to make the greatest operation to fight corruption.
And now how the presidential election’s runoff battle will be faced?
If the neoliberal right wing already acted that way to make the runoff possible, imagine what it will do in the next 30 days. They will take even more radical steps in disqualifying and wearing out Lula’s government. They will use all legal and illegal mechanisms to avoid the victory of the progressive forces. The dispute in that period will be of the fiercest kind. The media will do everything to poison the population; the opposition will do everything to create a coup-like environment of terror.
In such an incited scenario, some challenges are brought up. First of all it is necessary to polarize the dispute, politicizing society. It is necessary to show even to middle classes, that Geraldo Alckmin’s victory means a counterblow for the neoliberal and right-wing forces. And that it represents retaking privatizations, cuts in public investments in social areas, the end of the Latin-American integration process, a new approach to the FTAA, the criminalization of social movements. It is necessary to belive in the society’s politization.
Secondly, it is necessary to broaden the alliances and gather all truly patriotic, democratic and left-wing forces. Whoever is really on the left will not remain passive in face of the risk of a neoliberal counterblow, the danger of the criminalization of social movements, the privatizations and the FTAA. Now it is the time to gather all the forces to stop the neoliberal right wing’s retrocession. Alckmin represents the jost retrograde and authoritarian right wing, he represents ultraliberal sectors that are excited with the possibility of returning to the central government. No one can forbear in that decisive hour. The divergences must be put aside in order to defeat the greater enemy.
Thirdly, and this is key, it is necessary to put all the militancy in the streets in the following 30 days. It will be necessary to form a great coalition to explain what is in danger in the elections to show the risks of the retrocession. The main battle is for the defeat of Alckmin, with President Lula’s reelection. Now it is the time to measure who is really aware and engaged, who thinks about Brazil’s future. Nobody can weaken or forbear. The militant forces shall have a lot of work in the next days. It will be decisive in guaranteeing the victory of popular democratic forces.
Lastly, how do you evaluate PCdoB’s performance in the elections?
PCdoB is integrant part of the project of President Lula’s reelection and dedicated all its energy to achieve that goal. In that sense, the party was not immune to the brutal offensive of the right in that period. A first evaluation shows that despite those difficulties PCdoB obtained a positive result, which is an unknown fact in recent history. Though it is still a defensive moment for the communist movement, as we face difficulties to gain visibility, PCdoB keeps gathering forces.
But for communist militants the battle is not over yet. The party spearheaded the campaign for President Lula’s reelection. It knows that a retrocession in the country will have severe effects on the workers’ struggle and in the existence of the party itself. In case the neoliberal right wing returns to power it will be even more raging, will not spare the social movements and will make a highly anti-democratic political reform. For the communists the fundamental battle is to guarantee President Lula’s reelection. The communists do not run away from the struggle and its historic responsibilities, do not weaken or forbear. They will have a decisive role to ensure victory in the runoff.