Former President Lula in celebration of his birthday

The former president’s leadership Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (PT) in polls of voting intentions, as well as the chances of PT members increasing their parliamentary bench – which is already the second largest in the Chamber –, has been an obstacle to the formation of federations between parties in the center-left. Members of PSB e do PDT say that this type of alliance should favor legends with larger benches and harm smaller ones.

The federation, approved by Congress in a mini-reform last year, obliges parties to remain united for a minimum period of four years in legislative houses across the country. The rules also oblige parties to vote as a bloc in the Legislature and to run together in municipal elections in 2024. These mandatory commitments hamper regional alliances and, in Congress, the fear is that smaller caucuses have little internal influence.

The national president of the PDT, Carlos Lupi, considers that party federations are “difficult to implement, unless they are parties with equal weight”. A supporter of Ciro Gomes’ candidacy for the Planalto, Lupi has been holding conversations with PSB leaders on the subject. He recognizes that Lula’s performance in the polls hinders the formalization of an alliance between Socialists and Labor, but there is an expectation of a meeting between the summit of the two parties in the coming weeks. “In any alliance with the PT, any of us — PDT, PSB, PCdoB or PSOL — will be satellites. Federation is something complex, very difficult to achieve.”

The president of the PDT, Carlos Lupi, and the pre-candidate of the party, Ciro Gomes
The president of the PDT, Carlos Lupi, and the pre-candidate of the party, Ciro Gomes Cristiano Mariz/VEJA

The PDT bets on an impasse in the dialogue between PSB and PT for a national alliance. There is an invitation for former governor Geraldo Alckmin to be vice-candidate on Lula’s ticket through the PSB, but candidates for state governments in key states such as São Paulo, Pernambuco and Rio Grande do Sul are still undefined.

At a meeting of part of the PSB bench of deputies in December, 24 deputies said they were in favor of a federation. The discussion did not involve any decision on the party that would be included in the eventual alliance, although the most advanced negotiations are precisely with PT and PDT. The only dissident was federal deputy Heitor Schuch (PSB-RS). “I am against federation of parties, I think this is to make the big ones get even bigger and the others get so small that they end up disappearing over time”, says Schuch.

The deputy says that he welcomes an approach with the PDT. Schuch supports the pre-campaign of former deputy Beto Albuquerque (PSB) for the government of Rio Grande do Sul, a dispute that is also deadlocked on the left: PT members launched the name of state deputy Edegar Pretto.

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