In his final campaign rally before the run-off vote in Brazil’s presidential elections, Geraldo Alckmin was determinedly upbeat.
Polls show Sao Paulo’s former governor will most likely lose this Sunday’s vote, garnering support only from the wealthy and well-educated. In the past week, he has worked to dent his main rival – the incumbent President’s – image as champion of the poor.
“The country can’t continue this way,” he said. “The economy is at a halt, but the corruption scandals continue to grow in strength. The people are fed up.”
But the polls show President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva will probably win, despite the corruption scandals, fetching the same 61 per cent that swept him to victory five years ago.
In his final campaign rally, he defended his record on social equality and pledged to do more in a second term: “I humbly agree that we have committed errors,” he said. “But I also humbly believe this country improved extraordinarily in comparison to the eight years in which the last government was in power.”
Lula has said Alckmin would favour the rich and sell off state companies. Alckmin has mocked Lula for criticising the elite but forging alliances with part of it. No doubt they’ll continue in the same vein when they take part in a television debate on Friday.