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Lula Receives New Brazil Endorsements  10/06 06:12

   

   RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) -- Former Brazilian President Luiz Incio Lula da Silva 
received two symbolic endorsements Wednesday as he seeks new allies ahead of an 
Oct. 30 runoff against incumbent Jair Bolsonaro to return to the country's 
highest office.

   Simone Tebet, a center-right candidate who came third in Sunday's election 
with 4% of the votes, and former President Fernando Henrique Cardoso, who 
remains highly respected in business circles, have both announced they will 
back da Silva, who is universally known as Lula.

   "For my love for Brazil, for democracy and for the constitution, for the 
courage I never lacked, I apologize to my friends and companions who begged for 
neutrality in this second round," Tebet said at a press conference in Sao 
Paulo. "What is at stake is far greater than each of us."

   Citing a country "divided by hate speech and ideological polarization," she 
called her nearly 5 million voters to join her in supporting democracy, adding 
that she will be actively campaigning for da Silva.

   The leftist Workers' Party candidate came close to an outright victory on 
Sunday, receiving over 48% of the votes. Far-right Bolsonaro got 43%. Since the 
election, the two men have been on a hunt for support across Brazil and the 
political spectrum.

   Earlier Wednesday, former President Cardoso, 91, said he will cast his vote 
for da Silva in the name of "a history of struggle for democracy and social 
inclusion," and posted old photos of da Silva and him distributing 
pro-democratic pamphlets during the military dictatorship (1964-1985).

   Political analyst Carlos Melo said the announcements were symbolic and could 
bring crucial votes to da Silva.

   "Tebet managed to win votes during the election, she built her own political 
estate, not that of her party," said Melo, a science professor at Insper 
University in Sao Paulo, also underlying her popularity among women. Meanwhile, 
Cardoso could help strengthen da Silva's popularity among those in the business 
and intellectual elite that are still reticent.

   Da Silva was jailed for 19 months as part of a massive corruption 
investigation known as the Car Wash probe, which targeted his Workers' Party 
and upended Brazilian politics. The Supreme Court later annulled his 
convictions amid accusations the judge and prosecutors manipulated the case 
against him.

   Ex-President Michel Temer and the powerful agro-business lobby in Congress 
joined three state governors in Brazil's southeast, the country's richest and 
most populous region, in backing Bolsonaro Wednesday.

 
 
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