Brazils former two term president, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, often referred to as Lula, is now the front-runner in seeking a third term more than ten years after leaving office. Recently cleared of corruption charges, he has made it to the front of the race, surpassing right-wing incumbent Jair Bolsonaro.
Large questions remain about his fitness for office though, after a recent interview with Time in which he called into question the coherence of his political agenda.
Although ostensibly a leftist, his comments seem to embrace the benefits of a moral-free globalization and the continued exploitation of fossil fuels, suggesting that the world ought to continue to benefit from cheap Russian energy exports without guilt, suggesting that sanctions were not helpful and that they were “punishing mankind.”
He also suggested that climate change and the environment were not serious issues, saying “as long as you don’t have alternative energy, you will continue to use the energy that you have,” raising the ire of critics of Bolsanaro’s policies of unbridled exploitation, suggesting that Lula will essentially continue such policies.
Regarding democracy, his rhetoric was equally weak, suggesting that Zelenskyy was “as responsible as Putin for the war,” in which Russia invaded Ukraine, unprovoked, with the original intent to invade the capital and likely annex and remove the nation from the map.
Even regarding his own policies, he refused to put out a clear platform, suggesting that voters “should not be concerned… because I’ve been a president twice already,” and that, “we don’t discuss economic policies before winning the elections,” implying that his policies would be an irrevocable surprise should he win.