Thursday December 5th, 2019 2:33PM

Brazil's da Silva names successor, but will voters follow?

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — In a letter from his jail cell, former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has called on tens of millions of supporters to vote for the man he named to replace on the Workers' Party ticket in October's presidential election.

"I want everyone who would vote for me to vote for Fernando Haddad for president of Brazil," da Silva, who Brazilians universally call Lula, said on Tuesday, the deadline for the party to pick another candidate after da Silva's candidacy was barred. "From now on he will be Lula for millions of Brazilians."

While long anticipated, the formal designation of Haddad both settled one question and launched another: Will supporters of da Silva — who has held a clear lead in all polls — actually listen and back Haddad, who until now had relatively little appeal?

The two men are close in their political views and said to be friends, but for many voters in Latin America's largest nation they are also very different.

While da Silva is easily the country's most recognizable politician after being president between 2003 and 2010, Haddad is largely unknown outside of Sao Paulo, where he was he was mayor four years. While da Silva is charismatic and has an everyman touch, Haddad is a political science teacher turned education minister who comes off as professorial. He also got trounced in his re-election bid as mayor in 2016.

Haddad, 55, also is only beginning his campaign less than four weeks before the election. On Wednesday, he was scheduled to meet with party executives in Sao Paulo in the morning and then host an event with university students in the afternoon.

Carlos Melo, a political science professor at Insper university, believes the strength of the party and da Silva's endorsement will be enough to push Haddad to a second round of voting. If no candidate gets more than 50 percent on Oct. 7, as expected, the top two finishers will meet in an Oct. 28 runoff.

"He was introduced as the candidate very late. We have to see if there is time for him to get all the votes he needs," Melo said.

Before running for mayor in 2012, Haddad served as education minister under da Silva and his predecessor, President Dilma Rousseff.

He was confirmed as the replacement to da Silva on Tuesday after a meeting of his party's executive committee in the southern city of Curitiba, where the former president is jailed for a corruption conviction that led the top electoral court to bar him from running.

Haddad will be joined on the ticket by Manuela D'Avila, a member of Brazil's Communist Party.

A Datafolha poll published on Monday shows Haddad in fourth place, favored by just 9 percent of those surveyed. That was a rise of 5 percentage points in just a few weeks, but still behind rightist congressman Jair Bolsonaro's 24 percent, left-leaning Ciro Gomes' 13 percent, centrist Marina Silva's 11 percent and right-leaning Geraldo Alckmin's 10 percent.

The poll had a margin of error of 2 percentage points. All the 2,804 voters sampled were interviewed on Monday, days after da Silva's candidacy was barred by the electoral court and Bolsonaro was stabbed in an incident that might put him in hospital until election day.

Haddad met with da Silva after the party decision, then delivered his first speech as the candidate in front the federal police building where da Silva is jailed.

"I feel the pain of many Brazilians who won't be able to vote for who they want," he said, standing next to D'Avila. "But now is not the time to have your head down."

Da Silva is serving a 12-year sentence for trading favors with construction company Grupo OAS for the promise of a beachfront apartment. The former president has always denied wrongdoing, arguing this case and several others pending against him are meant to keep him off the ballot.

The strategy of holding on to da Silva's candidacy until the last minute caused internal fighting within the party. Many believed it was risky to leave Haddad so little time to present his case to voters, while others thought it was best to keep da Silva front and center as long as possible.

Since the beginning of the year, the Workers' Party hinted Haddad could be the candidate. When he was named candidate for vice president in mid-August the choice became obvious.

"Haddad and I are like Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez," da Silva once said, referring to superstar teammates on FC Barcelona's soccer club. "We play together and we don't even need to look at each other to know what the other is doing."

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP National News, AP Online National News, Top General short headlines, AP Elections, General Presidential Election News, AP World News, AP Business, AP Business - Corporate News, AP Elections - Campaigns
© Copyright 2019
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Brazil's da Silva names successor, but will voters follow?
Brazil's da Silva names a successor and calls on supporters to vote for him, but will they listen?
12:28AM ( 10 minutes ago )
MLB commemorates 9/11 anniversary with ballpark ceremonies
Major League Baseball is commemorating the 17th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks with ceremonies at ballparks all across the country
12:21AM ( 17 minutes ago )
Six Angels pitchers through seven hitless innings vs Rangers
Six pitchers have combined to throw seven hitless innings for the Los Angeles Angels against the Texas Rangers
12:21AM ( 17 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
The Latest: Airlines cancel flights ahead of Florence
Airlines are beginning to cancel flights ahead of Hurricane Florence making landfall later this week
11:46PM ( 52 minutes ago )
The Latest: 5.4M people under hurricane watches, warnings
The threat of punishing winds and potentially cataclysmic flooding from Hurricane Florence in portions of the Carolinas has motorists streaming inland
11:43PM ( 55 minutes ago )
Trump-backed ex-cop gets GOP nod for House in New Hampshire
A toss-up congressional district featuring 17 candidates topped the ballot Tuesday in a New Hampshire primary that provided one of the final measures of the country's mood before November's midterm election
11:31PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP National News
'Big and vicious': Hurricane Florence closes in on Carolinas
Motorists are streaming inland, trying to get out of harm's way, as Hurricane Florence closes in on the Carolinas
10:58PM ( 1 hour ago )
The Latest: Edwards wins; would be 1st black NH congressman
Eddie Edwards has won the six-way race for the Republican nomination in New Hampshire's 1st Congressional District
10:52PM ( 1 hour ago )
CBS exec's downfall shows the power _ and limits _ of #MeToo
#MeToo activists welcome CBS executive's fall but want to see deeper change
10:50PM ( 1 hour ago )
Top General short headlines
Peru court gives ex-rebel leader life sentence for car bomb
A Peruvian court has convicted imprisoned Shining Path leader Abimael Guzman to a second life sentence for a 1992 car bombing in the capital that killed 25 people and injured 155.
7:21PM ( 5 hours ago )
Brazil race begins in earnest with da Silva off party ticket
Brazil's presidential race begins in earnest with ex-President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva replaced on the ticket
5:30PM ( 7 hours ago )
Pope to meet US bishops Thursday over abuse scandal
The Vatican says that Pope Francis will meet Thursday with a delegation of U.S. cardinals and bishops over the sex abuse and cover-up scandal roiling the Catholic Church and his own papacy
4:51PM ( 7 hours ago )
AP World News
Asian stocks fall as China reacts to US tariffs
Asian shares are falling as China delayed issuing licenses to American businesses hoping to operate in the country, as the threat of more trade tariffs from Washington looms
11:30PM ( 1 hour ago )
China puts off licenses for US companies amid tariff battle
China puts off accepting license applications from U.S. companies in midst of tariff battle
11:00PM ( 1 hour ago )
The Latest: Pappas wins 1st District Democratic nomination
Democrat Molly Kelly will face Republican Gov. Chris Sununu in November after winning her party's nomination in New Hampshire
8:55PM ( 3 hours ago )
AP Business
APNewsBreak: MGM offers donation if legal notices accepted
MGM Resorts International says it will donate $500 to charities named by each surviving victim of the Las Vegas mass shooting who waives or authorizes an attorney to accept legal notice that they are being sued by the company
6:12PM ( 6 hours ago )
The Latest: Hurricane warnings issued for parts of Carolinas
Forecasters have issued a hurricane warning for parts of the Carolinas as Hurricane Florence barrels toward land
5:17PM ( 7 hours ago )
Technology and energy companies help send US stocks higher
U.S. stocks rise as technology and consumer-focused companies recover more of their losses from last week, while home improvement retailers and gas prices climb as Hurricane Florence moves closer to the East Coast
5:16PM ( 7 hours ago )
AP Business - Corporate News
MLB commemorates 9/11 anniversary with ballpark ceremonies
Major League Baseball is commemorating the 17th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks with ceremonies at ballparks all across the country
12:21AM ( 18 minutes ago )
Six Angels pitchers through seven hitless innings vs Rangers
Six pitchers have combined to throw seven hitless innings for the Los Angeles Angels against the Texas Rangers
12:21AM ( 18 minutes ago )
Florence could flood hog manure pits, coal ash dumps
Florence could flood manure pits, coal ash dumps and other industrial sites, creating toxic brew
12:20AM ( 18 minutes ago )
Red Sox become 1st team in majors to clinch playoff spot
The Boston Red Sox have become the first team in the majors to clinch a playoff spot this season
12:13AM ( 26 minutes ago )
Five Angels pitchers through six hitless innings vs Rangers
Five pitchers have combined to throw six hitless innings for the Los Angeles Angels against the Texas Rangers
12:12AM ( 27 minutes ago )