Friday, October 22, 2021

Lula’s party must reinvent itself, Brazilian governor says

Sao Paulo, May 7 (EFE).- Camilo Santana, reelected last October as governor of the Brazilian state of Ceara with a record vote, called in an interview with EFE for a reinvention of his party, the opposition Workers Party (PT) of former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.

“I have always said the PT needs to be self-critical…and start restructuring and reinventing itself, while highlighting all the good things the party did for Brazil during the time it governed (2003-2016),” Santana said on the sidelines of an event at the Official Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Brazil.

The governor of Ceara, reelected last October with almost 80 percent of the vote in this northeastern region of Brazil, also spoke in favor of the “new leadership” within the leftist party.

He considered that the PT, whose leader Lula da Silva is serving time in prison for corruption, emerged “strengthened” from the October 2018 elections, despite losing the presidential election to extreme rightist Jair Bolsonaro, who won 55 percent of the vote in the second round.

Santana recalled that Fernando Haddad, former mayor of Sao Paulo and PT candidate defeated in that election, had an admirable result considering he had “little time” to campaign, since the justice system was late in disqualifying Lula da Silva from running.

Haddad “made it to a second round and obtained 45 percent of the vote in Brazil,” while the PT “took the greatest number of seats in Congress, winning four more states. This is a very powerful party.”

The governor of Ceara avoided criticizing the Bolsonaro government, saying “it is still too early to judge him. We have to give every government time so we can see what it is they really want to do.”

He recalled that during the 2018 presidential campaign, when Bolsonaro did not take part in any debate because of the assassination attempt he suffered in the weeks before the elections, “there wasn’t much discussion” of ideas, nor any “presentation of policies” by the eventual winner.

“I want Brazil to do well, because it is important for Brazilians, for the states, regardless of who is president. The election is over, we live in a democratic country and the president elected was Bolsonaro. It’s time for all of us to work together for Brazil and for its states,” Santana said.

According to the governor, whenever he doesn’t agree with the president, “I’ll frankly tell him so” and whenever he believes Bolsonaro is right, he will also tell him.

Ceara, a tourist region of some 9 million inhabitants, is considered the state with the greatest fiscal equilibrium in the country, according to the classification of the Rio de Janeiro Industries Federation.