US Markets

Brazil's PT unveils national recovery plan with eye to local elections

Brazil's Workers Party, looking to mobilize opposition to far-right President Jair Bolsonaro, launched a plan on Monday which it said would lead the country out of the economic and public health crises caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

BRASILIA, Sept 21 (Reuters) - Brazil's Workers Party, looking to mobilize opposition to far-right President Jair Bolsonaro, launched a plan on Monday which it said would lead the country out of the economic and public health crises caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

The party, known as the PT, proposed extending emergency monthly payments of 600 reais ($111.06) to low-income Brazilians until the end of the pandemic, boosting investment in public works programs to create jobs and taxing the rich to help the poor.

The PT's plan for "national reconstruction" calls for the abolition of a 20-year spending cap approved by Congress in 2016 to control Brazil's runaway budget deficit.

Brazil's former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, the party's founder, attacked Bolsonaro for dismantling the social safety net policies setup by PT governments from 2003 to 2016.

"This country will only recover when the people change the person now governing it," he said at the launch at the headquarters of the metal workers' union in Sao Paulo.

Lula said it was unacceptable that hunger was returning in a country that was one of the world's biggest food producers.

In local elections in November, the PT is hoping to reverse disastrous results four years ago when it lost 60 percent of its mayors across Brazil just months after Lula's successor Dilma Rousseff was impeached and the party faced damaging corruption investigations that landed Lula in prison.

"The PT will recover somewhat this year from the massive defeat it suffered in 2016 due to anti-PT sentiment that helped Bolsonaro get elected two years later," said Claudio Couto, politics professor at the FGV think tank in Sao Paulo.

Lula, who is out of jail but barred from running for elected office due to two corruption convictions, told Reuters on Friday he is open to backing any candidate who can beat Bolsonaro in the 2022 presidential elections.

($1 = 5.4026 reais)

(Reporting by Anthony Boadle; Editing by Aurora Ellis)

((anthony.boadle@tr.com +55 61 98204-1110; https://twitter.com/anthonyboadle ;))

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

Latest Markets Videos

Reuters

Reuters, the news and media division of Thomson Reuters, is the world’s largest international multimedia news provider reaching more than one billion people every day. Reuters provides trusted business, financial, national, and international news to professionals via Thomson Reuters desktops, the world's media organizations, and directly to consumers at Reuters.com and via Reuters TV.

Learn More