The following is based on an Oct. 10 statement from the Communist Party of Brazil (PCdoB) and an article by Renato Rabelo, PCdoB president.

In analyzing the Oct. 6 elections, Renato Rabelo, Communist Party of Brazil president, said Brazilians see that Workers’ Party (PT) presidential candidate Luis Inacio “Lula” da Silva, “represents a consensus for change towards a new era.

“The national political situation is being shaken. The economic policies conducted by Cardoso’s government have raised contradictions between the interests of the majority [and] … the minority that profits so much from the high interest rates and speculation concerning our currency …” he said.

Rabelo went on to describe the unprecedented vote for Lula, a former machinist, trade union leader and left politican who garnered almost 47 percent of the vote, just shy of the 50 percent plus one required to win the first round election. “The result of the elections in this first round gives a new political dimension with unparalleled historical significance to PT and the left; Lula is the most voted for president candidate of the history of the country,” he said.

The Oct. 6 election results were historic for the Left and governmental opposition parties, including both the PT and PCdoB.

Lula will face José Serra, the government’s candidate who received less than half the votes of Lula, in the Oct. 27 runoff.

The PCdoB said, “This election clearly showed that the Brazilian people see the present path kept to by the country is disastrous and they are willing to change the policies imposed by President Fernando Henrique Cardoso.”

This election, as well as the recent referendum against free trade shows the Brazilian people intend to build a new destiny that grants national dignity, participation in decisions regarding the country and new political methods. Cardoso’s economic orientation favored a minority that profited a lot with the high interest rates and speculation involving Brazilian currency, at the expense of the vast majority of the population who wants a new direction for development, jobs, health, education, transportation, livable wages, etc.

“Lula represents a consensus for change towards a new era,” Rabelo said. Under Lula, Brazil can play an important role in changing the world balance of forces away from war-mongering and unilateralism, he said.

Rabelo charged the present government with buying votes for Serra. “This week [Cardoso’s] government announced the release of 1.577 billion reais ($394 million) of this year’s expenses in order to buy support for his candidate,” he said.

Rabelo and the PCdoB pointed to the worries of “international capital” with a Lula victory. A New York Times editorial admitted Lula obtained the vote of millions who were harmed by the “free-market reforms.” And that “such an impoverished majority put Hugo Chávez into power in Venezuela and seems likely to be a major force in next year’s Argentine presidential election.”

The Times said a Lula victory will not cheer the Bush administration, Brazil’s foreign investors or the business community, since “his campaign made clear his continued opposition to many of the American-backed economic reforms Brazil has carried out in recent years, as well as his sharp disagreement with Washington’s policies on Cuba and Colombia.”

Rabelo warned that the article was a “warning sign” that “foreign investors,” the “business community” and the U.S. government itself, will not passively watch the development of the electoral campaign.

Since 1989 the PCdoB, along with PT, takes part in coalitions fighting for a democratic, popular and progressive way out of the crises being faced by Brazil. On Oct. 6, 12 PCdoB federal representatives, 17 state representatives and the vice-governor of the state of Piauí were elected. The PCdoB urged more outreach to “multiply the bonds that link it to the union movement, youth, social entities, boosting the conscience and the organization of the people.

“Our members must thank the trust of voters wherever communist candidates were elected. And it must join the celebration of the victory achieved by the Brazilian people in this first round …”

The PCdoB urged its organization to join with the “broad civic movement to elect democratic governments in the states and for the victory of Lula, beginning a new era for Brazil.”