While working separately to conquer the Government of São Paulo in the 2022 elections, Fernando Haddad (PT) and Guilherme Boulos (PSOL) propagate the discourse of search for unity of the left in the state, which raises apprehension and expectations about the design of a future plate.
Boulos started a series of electoral agendas across the state, boosted by the result in the capital in 2020, when he came second in the mayoral race. Haddad, in turn, builds a government plan and dedicates himself to virtual meetings and interviews for radio stations in the interior.
Members of the PT and the PSOL agree that it is necessary to prevent the votes of the progressive camp from being divided and, for that, they are already beginning to look for solutions that will lead to unity. The effort is to build a broad alliance, which also includes PC do B, PDT and PSB, which has Márcio França as a pre-candidate.
Driven by Lula’s (PT) pre-candidacy for the Planalto and facing internal rifts between opponents toucans and pocketnaristas, sectors of the left see a “unique opportunity”, in the words of the president of the São Paulo PT, Luiz Marinho, to break the PSDB’s hegemony , which has governed the state since 1995.
Leaders of progressive parties have kept an intense agenda of conversations and point out that there is time, one year and four months before the elections, to build a front and fight for the seat currently occupied by toucan João Doria, who is trying to make himself viable as a candidate for the presidency.
Part of the PT members say they are uncomfortable with Boulos’ speech that his candidacy is irrevocable, which would prohibit dialogue about alliances. Haddad, on the other hand, avoids declaring himself a pre-candidate and has said it’s too early to discuss names. Tensions aside, the two maintain good interlocution.
The idea that circulates in the direction of the PT is to offer Boulos —assuming he is not willing to run for the Senate or vice-governor— support for the 2024 election to the City Hall of São Paulo. The assessment among sewing advocates is that the psolist has a chance of being elected in the capital.
According to the column Mônica Bergamo, the proposal involves launching Boulos for federal deputy in 2022 and, in exchange, open space a nominations by the PSOL for vice and also for the candidate for the Senate on Haddad’s PT ticket.
According to Marinho, there is no debate in the PT about party members who would run for the Senate in the state precisely because the seat is understood as reserved for the negotiation of agreements. The leader says that the goal is to replicate the alliance of parties around Lula and that the ideal is to unite in the first round.
“The commitment is to dialogue. The best thing is a single candidacy. The opportunity is given. We are going to work towards this, but respecting all parties. If no one enters this conversation armed, it’s game. For our part, we want all together,” he says .
At PSOL, there is an ongoing debate about launching a proper candidacy for the Planalto or supporting Lula. Boulos is sympathetic to the second thesis, but it will still be deliberated in the acronym. The split is seen with concern by PT members, given that the PSOL’s support for Lula is the key to unity in the states as well.
Despite the setbacks, leaders heard by the leaf seek to convey a climate of optimism about the advancement of alliances.
“We are working for the unity of the left, and the name of Boulos is at the service of this project”, says the national president of the PSOL, Juliano Medeiros. “We intend to build a broad unity around it, but only time and dialogue with other parties will tell if we will succeed”, he says.
“My impression is that never before in the history of this country has the left of São Paulo been in such a good position to dispute the government”, says federal deputy Orlando Silva (PC do B-SP).
“We have three good names: Márcio França, Haddad and Boulos. What we lack is to be sensible, build a common path and attract sectors beyond the left. The good news is that we have never had so many channels of dialogue on the left in São Paulo before” , he follows, who has already met with the three postulants.
According to Orlando, PC do B should not have its own candidate in São Paulo. “The time is for a project, not for personalism. The three of them are willing to debate the future of São Paulo before deciding who the name is.”
Conflicts and disputes over space, however, are beginning to emerge. On the way to his third consecutive campaign, after running for president in 2018 and for mayor in 2020, Boulos is seen by the PT as an anxious and intransigent politician.
On the other side, however, among the PT members who defend the legitimacy of the pre-candidacy of Boulos is Lula, according to the leaf found out. The understanding is that the psolist was accredited with the performance in 2020 and has electoral strength.
Marinho also says he welcomes the movement of Boulos, whom he calls a friend. “It’s natural, it’s legitimate, let’s respect it. It’s positive that teams from the left are on the field. `We have all the conditions to be together.”
In defense of the maintenance of Haddad’s candidacy, PT members argue that the caption has more structure and capillarity than the PSOL. At the same time, there is a concern to avoid friction and not force hegemony. “My calm reading is to see in Haddad the main leadership”, says Marinho.
“Of course, we hope that the other parties, including the PT, recognize the important role that Boulos can play in the dispute for the Government of São Paulo, but this cannot be imposed, it must be part of a process of persuasion”, says the president of the PSOL.
Haddad and Boulos were pushed into the Bandeirantes Palace dispute after Lula had his Lava Jato convictions overturned and regained his political rights in March, which paved the way for his bid to return to the presidency in 2022.
The PT, however, did not abandon the hard core of Lula’s candidacy and, with the main goal of defeating Jair Bolsonaro, placed himself at the party’s disposal to build the alliance in São Paulo and, if necessary, represent it.
The former mayor has been holding conversations with names from the left of other acronyms and is willing to give up his candidacy if there is another more aggregating option. Wanted by leaf, Haddad declined to give statements.
Boulos, who announced his pre-candidacy for the government in an interview with leaf in April, he was tipped to be the president of the PSOL. The information around the psolist is that he discards the possibility of facing the former president at the ballot box, of whom he is a friend and ally.
Boulos speaks diplomatically about Haddad’s pre-campaign. “It is legitimate for parties to seek to present their projects and their candidacies. This is part of the public debate. I hope that the left as a whole has historical responsibility, so that we can achieve unity.”
“I have been talking to all the parties in the progressive camp, including the PT. I am working so that we can achieve an alliance and unity, because defeating the PSDB machine in the state is very difficult.”
In line with what other leftists maintain, Boulos says there is “a historic moment” at the local and national levels that favors coalitions. “I feel that there is a disposition of unity. We have to put personal interests in the background if we want to change the game in the state”, he says.
On another front, the development of alliances in the state is blocked by the impasse of the possible candidacy of Geraldo Alckmin (PSDB).
The tucanato is divided between deputy governor Rodrigo Garcia (PSDB), who has already declared himself a candidate and intensified trips and waves to voters, and Alckmin, who can compete in PSDB caucuses or migrate to another party, such as DEM, PSD and PSB, to enable his fifth term as governor.
Alckmin’s course interferes in the left game due to the good relationship between the toucan and França, who was his vice-governor. There is a chance that the two will repeat the double, but the possibility is practically ruled out if the former governor remains in the PSDB, a party from which França distanced himself.
França is also on the list of names sought by the PT and even participated in a meeting with Lula, also opening up the possibility of joining the presidential ticket. Any arrangement will depend on the national orientation of the PSB, which is courted by PT members and by the PDT of presidential candidate Ciro Gomes.
In the state, Ciro’s party does not currently have a proper name for the Palácio dos Bandeirantes and must seek alliances — with the exception of the PT, which is the target of Ciro’s criticism, other leftist parties are on the radar.
“Everything goes through a sewing that gives Ciro a platform in the state”, says the president of the PDT in the capital of São Paulo, Antonio Neto, who recently met with Boulos and has been in dialogue with other leaders. “Be it our own candidacy or coalition, our priority is the national development project.”
“We don’t want to do anything [aliança] with this Lulopetist past or Bolsonaro’s genocidal present,” says Neto. “We want to create a path in the middle. Ciro is neither far left nor far right, Ciro is in dire need.”