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Brazil’s Haddad: I am a Personal Friend of Macri’s

The PT's presidential candidate spoke to La Nación

By | [email protected] | October 2, 2018 5:11pm

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Six days from the Brazilian presidential elections, Partido dos Trabalhadores (PT) candidate Fernando Haddad told La Nación that “ideological differences aside,” he is a “personal friend” of President Mauricio Macri.

“Brazil and Argentina have a lot to cooperate on. Government policy is one thing, state policy is a different one,” he said.

Macri met with Haddad at least once, in 2014, when they were both mayors of Buenos Aires and Sao Paulo, respectively. According to the City government’s website, Macri named Haddad a guest of honor to the city and both visited the Feria del Libro and signed an agreement of environmental cooperation, which also included Mexico City.

Haddad is one of the two candidates who is set to make it to the runoff, along with far-right, homophobic, sexist and racist candidate Jair Bolsonaro. According to the last survey conducted by Ibope pollster, Bolsonaro has a 31 percent vote intention in the first round, against Haddad’s 21 percent.

The PT’s candidate exponentially increased his vote intention since he received the explicit endorsement of the party’s previous candidate, former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva on September 11, after different courts confirmed their decision to prevent him from running for office, a result of being convicted on corruption charges.

However, Haddad’s numbers lagged in this last poll, while Bolsonaro’s increased and, in contrast with previous ones, he would not lose against all candidates in eventual runoffs. The following tweets highlight the poll’s most relevant information.

According to Perfil, the Macri administration would rather deal with Haddad, rather than Bolsonaro: “with extreme caution, and in parallel, they have established contacts with his rival, controversial former military leader Jair Bolsonaro, interested in hearing his ideas regarding Argentina and the Mercosur [trading bloc].” The article indicates that government officials were relieved to hear that Bolsonaro would not intend to break with the Mercosur, or cut any commercial ties with Argentina.

In an interview with The Bubble earlier this month, foreign politics analyst Francisco de Santibañez said he does not believe “Argentina would play a central role in Bolsonaro’s foreign policy, but that does not mean the bilateral relationship would deteriorate.”

Also speaking with The Bubble, Chief economist of Management & Fit consultancy, Matías Carugati, said it is difficult to speculate as to how commercial relations under a Bolsonaro presidency would be.

“Bolsonaro is a politician who is difficult to understand. His discourse has a stance, but his actions as deputy went, many times, on the other direction. I assume, nonetheless, that Argentina would try to keep the good relations given the character of strategic partner Brazil has,” he argued.

However, he said, “any candidate that is not rupture-prone would be convenient for Argentina.”

On Sunday, Brazilians head to the polls. Argentina looks on.