News Analysis: Workers' Party in Brazil needs to learn from past failures, analysts say

By Edgardo Loguercio

BRASILIA, May 16 (Xinhua) -- With a little more than a year to go before the October 2018 presidential elections, the Workers' Party (PT) has been left reeling by corruption accusations, which has seen it lose public trust and numerous elected positions.

After 13 years in government from 2003 to 2016, the left-wing political party is trying to overcome the trauma of former president Dilma Rousseff's impeachment and a number of its senior leaders being under arrest or in jail.

Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, the former president from 2003 to 2010, is the favorite in presidential election polls, but the accusations of passive corruption and money laundering against Lula could see him banned from standing in the election.

Political analyst Marco Antonio Teixeira, from the Getulio Vargas Foundation (FGV), believes that, at the election, the population will reject candidates who represent "the type of problems Brazil is going through."

The PT has lost two-thirds of its mayors in last October's local elections, Teixeira said.

"At the same time, polls show the population is seeking something new instead of those who have recently been in government. Therefore, Brazil's political future faces an unknown, a very large question mark," he explained.

Teixeira said that despite Lula's popularity in polls, it is still doubtful that he could win the 2018 election even if he manages to be a candidate.

"The PT has still not commented on the accusations it faces. This is a demand of many of its members, there has been no evaluation of the mistakes. Therefore, society does not have a way to reconsider the PT," he said.

For Carlos Eduardo Vidigal, professor of Latin American history from the University of Brasilia, continuing economic recession in the region, after more than a year in power for conservative governments, could help the left parties to reclaim political spaces.

In the specific case of Brazil, however, Vidigal pointed out that the PT has disappointed many of its former followers and has not offered a reaction to the mistakes it has made.

"In historic terms, the PT lost the fight against corruption. This is why its old militants feel embarrassed about going out onto the streets, since helping Lula can also mean helping corruption," he explained.

The historian said that he does not believe Lula could succeed in being a candidate next year. "He will probably be prevented due to the legal matters. Then, the left will have to find alternatives."

"Brazil is in a critical moment. There is a crisis of leadership, as much for traditional parties such as the PMDB (Brazilian Democratic Movement Party) or the PSDB (Brazilian Social Democracy Party), as well as for the left," Vidigal said.

"This moment is unique in recent Brazilian history, a complete uncertainty about what could happen in the coming months," he concluded.

[ Editor: meng ]
 

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