Brazil’s Workers Party (PT) has fielded former Sao Paulo governor Geraldo Alckmin as the running mate of former leftist president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva for Brazil’s presidential elections in October.
Lula is a front-runner in the elections against far-right incumbent President Jair Bolsonaro and has worked for months to secure his ticket with Alckmin, a center-right political veteran who ran against Lula in 2006 but did not win.
Alckmin’s bid for the vice presidency is expected to alleviate concerns from business sectors about a possible return of a left-wing government.
Voting 68-16, the PT’s national directorate approved Alckmin to join the Lula ticket, a once-impossible union that aims to stop a Bolsonaro re-election.
Alckmin joined the Brazilian Socialist Party (PSB) last week to stand as Lula’s vice-presidential candidate in an alliance with the PT.
The alliance with the PSB and the Lula-Alckmin ticket is viewed as a necessity to defeat Bolsonaro, the PT clarified in a statement. Analysts also say that the tandem will gather votes from moderate middle-class voters unsure about Lula’s past corruption convictions.
Lula still leads the polls, with Bolsonaro gradually eroding his leads.
Alckmin governed Sao Paulo from 2001 to 2006 and 2011 to 2018. He was a founding member of the Brazilian Social Democracy Party (PSDB), a long-time rival of the PT.
He ranked fourth in the 2018 presidential race with just 4.76% of the votes. He left the PSDB in December after 33 years.