BRASILIA – Conservative Geraldo Alckmin, making his second run for the Brazilian presidency, guaranteed on Monday that he will be in the expected runoff, despite the fact that so far all the voter surveys have failed to suggest that.
“It’s an open process,” said Alckmin at a press conference with foreign reporters at which he warned that Brazil “cannot” opt “to radicalize itself from the left or the right.”
A voter survey released on Monday by MDA showed Alckmin in fourth place in the contest with 6.1 percent, behind far-right hopeful Jair Bolsonaro (28.2 percent), as well as center-left candidates Fernando Haddad (17.6 percent) and Ciro Gomes (10.8 percent).
The presidential contest will go to a second round if nobody receives a majority on Oct. 7.
“A survey is a snapshot of the moment,” the PSDB party candidate said. “The vote will only be defined at the end of the campaign.”
Alckmin, 65, reached the second round in 2006 against then-incumbent Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, only to lose in a landslide.
Voters will come to understand that both Bolsonaro and Haddad “represent two awful populist adventures for the country” and they will ultimately opt for the “balance” offered by the PSDB, which governed Brazil from 1995-2002 under Fernando Henrique Cardoso, Alckmin said.
He also touted his 12 years of experience as governor of Sao Paulo, Brazil’s richest and most industrialized state.
Bolsonaro, an apologist for the 1964-1985 military regime with a penchant for racist and sexist remarks, is seen as unlikely to win in a presidential runoff.
Haddad is the candidate designated by Lula, who remains Brazil’s most popular politician despite a corruption conviction, to represent the Workers Party (PT) in the 2018 contest.
The PT originally nominated the imprisoned Lula, but turned to Haddad after election authorities barred the former two-term president from appearing on the ballot.