Elections 2022 implications in Latin America from ideology to economy

Elections 2022: implications in Latin America from ideology to economy

  • Marcia Carmo
  • From Buenos Aires to BBC News Brazil

October 2, 2022, 3:19 p.m. 03

Updated 38 minutes ago

Man handling electronic voting machines

Credit, Brazilian agency


Elections in Brazil can reflect political relations, economy, trade, ideological debate and the votes of expatriate voters

The Brazilian presidential election should have an impact on other Latin American countries, according to analysts, politicians and citizens heard by BBC News Brazil, affecting not only Brazil’s borders, but also in political relations, economics, trade, ideological debate and the cast down voters.

The current perception of the impact of the Brazilian election arises because former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (PT) and President Jair Bolsonaro (PL), who conduct voting intention polls, are well known to voters in neighboring countries who are following the Planalto Palace .

Lula was already known for having ruled Brazil for two terms and, even before becoming president, for his life journey among trade unionists and academics. Bolsonaro became well known after his election in 2018.

“Brazil carries more weight than Mexico and Argentina, and not just in Latin America. And the election result can have an impact on the entire region,” says political scientist Juan Lucca, a professor at the National University of Rosario.

Credit, Márcia Carmo/ BBC News Brazil


Posters showing Bolsonaro whispering in Lula’s ear line the streets of Buenos Aires

For Amílcar Salas, professor of political science at the University of Buenos Aires (UBA), this is a “crucial” choice on a regional and global scale.

Lula’s supporters believe his election could cement a “left turn” in the region, particularly in South America, and revitalize dialogue between the countries with leaders who are part of that part of the political spectrum.

Those who do not support him understand that Bolsonaro’s reelection would prevent the rise of political movements defined as left or centerleft and that the Brazilian president would establish himself as a reference for the right in the region.

On September 22nd, the elections and recent political history of Brazil were the subject of a packed seminar at the National University of San Martín (UNSAM) in Argentina.

“We didn’t see a Bolsonaro in Argentina in 2018. And now, with the radicalization of the right, nothing would be impossible,” commented one of those present.

The perception is that alongside geopolitical issues, the results of Brazil’s ballot boxes could affect neighboring voters’ votes.

A physiotherapist from the city of Buenos Aires who has opposed Kirchnerism led by former President and Vice President Cristina Kirchner told the report she hopes for President Bolsonaro’s reelection. And not because she’s a Bolsonarista.

“If Lula is elected, he will support Cristina. And I don’t want her to be President again. We have a number of problems here, such as very high inflation, which Kirchnerism does not solve, and besides, Cristina has “several lawsuits in court,” he said.

An adviser to one of Argentina’s largest agribusinesses noted that “there is no clear sympathy for Bolsonaro in this sector” but that the problem in this case is that rural producers and Kirchnerism “live in a constant arm wrestling”. and if Lula is elected, this political movement could be strengthened.

There is another argument, the adviser said, which is the understanding that despite the difficulties, the Brazilian economy is “doing much better” than Argentina’s.

Political scientist Dolores Rocca Rivarola from UBA recalls that Bolsonaro became known in Argentina when he gave a speech in 2016 and surprised Argentines. In this speech he defended Colonel Brilhante Ustra, a military man recognized by the judiciary as a torturer.

On September 24, the Kirchnerist politician Axel Kicillof, governor of the province of Buenos Aires, the country’s largest, took part in a campaign with Argentine artists in the city of La Plata in support of Lula’s election, another sign of the direct influence of what is happening in happens in Brazil.

Public defense of the former President’s return to the Planalto has become a frequent part of this campaign, as seen at the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) seminar held in Buenos Aires last month.

“May Brazil return to CELAC, with Lula of course,” said Alicia Bárcena of Mexico, former executive secretary of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC).

In her opinion, the fight against poverty was one of her policies during the presidency that should be highlighted and that was in line with other governments in the region at the time.

At the same meeting, former Spanish Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero said that if Lula were elected, Brazil and Latin America as a whole would gain weight on the international stage.

“Only Latin America has no confrontations with other continents and has extensive trade ties, including the United States and China,” he explained.

“These are important assets for rebuilding the multilateral system. But it is clear that this can only happen after the elections in Brazil. And what we hope is that Brazil will vote for Lula.” The audience applauded and some shouted, “Lula does”.

From the perspective of centreleft and leftwing politicians, Lula’s return to the presidency will be crucial to restarting the flow in regional dialogue. Behind the scenes of the Argentine government, it is said “that it will be easier to work with a (possible) Lula government”.

The rationale includes the fact that South American countries are led by leaders from Lula’s political spectrum, such as Chile’s Gabriel Boric, Colombia’s Gustavo Petro, Bolivia’s Luis Arce and Argentina’s Alberto Fernández.

Presidents today talk little about the past. “The problem is not that Bolsonaro and Fernández are not speaking to each other. The fact is that Bolsonaro is not speaking to anyone,” said former Lula Prime Minister Celso Amorim.

“Bolsonaro makes an excellent government”

Unlike the 2018 elections, when the far right was virtually absent from Argentina’s political debate, Bolsonaro’s name is now associated with this sector, which has become part of opinion polls and preference polls, albeit cautiously compared to other Argentine political movements Electorate.

In interviews, politician Javier Millei, who wants to be president and is a friend of MP Eduardo Bolsonaro (PLSP), has praised the Brazilian president’s reelection and declared his support.

“Bolsonaro leads an excellent government. It is good to know what is happening in the Brazilian economy that is experiencing deflation. The problem is the left,” Millei said.

Credit, Brazilian agency


The outcome of the elections to be decided between Lula and Bolsonaro will have international implications

In a parody reminiscent of one of the World Cup songs, a “Jair” sang on a TN TV political moodboard: “Argentina, decime que se siente con inflación del 90%” (Free translation: Argentina, tell me like you feel with 90% inflation Argentina is expected to record this rate of inflation later this year.

Among analysts polled by BBC News Brasil about the potential impact of Brazil’s elections, Juan Lucca says the impact is undeniable.

“With the election of Lula, it can be expected that the region as a whole will start growing again, especially if there is a renewed boom in raw materials (as at the beginning of the century),” said the political scientist.

“If Bolsonaro is reelected, we already know the existing scenario. But (direct) political influence in the case of Argentina, which is holding presidential elections next year, will depend on the performance of the (possible) Lula government. will be in a hurry to get results and that could also affect Argentina’s elections.”

For the professor, the impact of the Brazilian election can have four pillars: political, economic, commercial and ideological.

He somewhat agrees with Zapatero when he says that if Lula is elected there could be international debates, such as expanding the BRICS, a bloc of emerging economies made up of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. Sectors in Argentina defend the country’s entry into the group.

Salas also believes Argentina could “consolidate” its entry into the bloc with Lula in Brazil’s presidency. In addition, Mercosur will gain new impetus.

For him, a possible election of Lula would have “positive effects” on the domestic politics of other countries, such as Argentina and Paraguay.

“Cold Dialogue of the President”

According to the analysts, the presidential dialogue in the region would be more constant again. “That doesn’t happen anymore with Bolsonaro in Brazil, with Lacalle Pou in Uruguay and with Marito (Mario Abdo Benítez) in Paraguay,” says Lucca.

Uruguayan and Paraguayan government sources argue that the pandemic has helped cool the dialogue as each government turns to its own problems.

The analyst understands that Brazil’s elections can “spill over” to the rest of the region and strengthen the centerleft party and sections of the left like the Frente Amplio in Uruguay.

Credit, Getty Images


Bolsonaro and Lula are the occasion for actions, seminars and discussions in Argentina

If Bolsonaro is reelected, Lucca will be seen as an even stronger reference by the “radical right”.

“In that case, Javier Millei and others who define themselves as ‘libertarians’ and those who defend gun ownership will have more reason to justify their speeches,” he said.

And the broad and historic Peronist movement, now fragmented, must unite as a centreright and even left option.

According to Venezuelan analyst Luis Vicente León from the political consultancy Datanalisis, the regional effects of Bolsonaro’s reelection would be “less relevant” than if Lula were elected.

“Lula could undoubtedly represent the consolidation of more leftwing groups with their different nuances, and I think this would open doors for the strengthening of blocbased regional groups, including a resettlement of Venezuela,” he said.

Have you already watched our new videos? youtube? Subscribe to our channel!