In a meeting with businessmen from the Federation of Industries of the State of São Paulo (Fiesp), former president and candidate for the October presidential election Lula (PT) criticized, this Tuesday (9) the electoral use of Auxílio Brasil, which begins to be paid this week.
“There is no knowledge, there is no precedent in the history of Brazil of someone who, with 57 days before the elections, decides to distribute R$ 58 billion of a benefit that only lasts until December”, said Lula.
“It is in this climate that we are going to run in an election, seeing one of the opponents, not to mention names, making the largest distribution of money that a political campaign has seen since the end of the Empire.”
This Tuesday, payments of R$ 600 from Auxílio Brasil will begin. Payments of R$ 110 of the Gas Aid and two installments of the Trucker Aid (amounting to R$ 2,000) are also planned.
At the same meeting, which took place the day after Jair Bolsonaro had once again criticized the Letter to Brazilians in defense of the democratic rule of law – initiative of former students of the University of São Paulo and which already has more than 800 thousand signatures – Lula stated that the current president would prefer a document signed by militiamen.
This Monday (8), Bolsonaro said that “whoever wants to be a Democrat, does not have to sign a letter”. To an audience of bank employees he said that “democracy has to feel what the person is doing”, but he did not explain what he meant by the phrase.
At Fiesp, Bolsonaro’s contempt for the initiative was cited by Lula.
“How can we live in a country where the president tells seven lies every day? And with the greatest impudence. Who calls a letter, which defends democracy, a letter? Who knows, the letter he would like to have is a letter made by militiamen in Rio de Janeiro and not a letter made by businessmen, intellectuals, trade unionists defending a democratic regime”, said the PT.
The Charter for Democracy has already been signed by Lula and also by the presidential candidates, Ciro Gomes (PDT), Simone Tebet (MDB), Felipe D’Ávila (Novo), Soraya Thronicke (União Brasil), Sofia Manzano (PCB), Leonardo Péricles ( Popular Unit) and José Maria Eymael (Christian Democracy). Former President Dilma Rousseff (PT) and former President Fernando Henrique Cardoso (PSDB) have also endorsed the text.
In addition, the document received the signatures of jurists, artists, sportsmen, businessmen, intellectuals, representatives of organized civil society and the population in general.
The letter does not mention the name of Jair Bolsonaro, but warns that the country is “going through a moment of immense danger to democratic normality, risk to the institutions of the Republic and insinuations of contempt for the results of the elections”.
The current president has questioned the security of electronic voting machines, which have already been exhaustively tested. He has never presented evidence about the risks he points to in the system, but he insists on insinuations that the elections could be rigged.
At Fiesp, Lula also questioned the inconsistency in Bolsonaro’s criticism, who was elected several times in elections based on the computerized system. Electronic voting machines have been used in Brazil since the 1990s.
“It has been proven to be one of the most perfect systems in the world. This citizen who has been elected since 1998 by the electronic ballot box, what is the right he has to put under suspicion? I’ve been saying to PT senators, what is this thing about the armed forces now getting involved in inspecting the polls? The military has to enforce our borders.”
A Letter to Brazilians in defense of the democratic rule of law will be officially launched this Thursday (11) at the Largo de São Francisco Law School, in São Paulo. On the same day, the Defense of Democracy and Justice manifesto will be read, an initiative of Fiesp supported by 107 other entities.
Editing: Rodrigo Durao Coelho