A centrist technocrat for Lula de Silva and an uncompromising general for Jair Bolsonaro: the candidates for the vice-presidency of Brazil also had diametrically opposed profiles, in the shadow of the candidates for the Planalto Palace.
But it will be Gerardo Alckmin who will occupy that place. At first glance, the choice of Alckmin, 69, as a running mate of former center-left president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (2003-2010) it might seem incongruous.
In 2006 both they met in the second round of the elections presidential election and Lula was re-elected with 60% of the vote.
Alckmin was then a member of the Brazilian Social Democratic Party (PSDB), a historic center-right movement he co-founded in 1988 that ruled Brazil from 1995 to 2002, with Fernando Henrique Cardoso as president.
To those who consider his alliance with Lula unnatural, this former governor of São Paulo replied that it was time to unite in defense of democracythreatened, according to him, by the far right Jair Bolsonaro.
“Some may find it strange. I played the second round against Lula in 2006, but the debate went to another level, we never endangered democracy, “he said in late March, when he joined the Brazilian Socialist Party (PSB) of center left, which has the basis of its alliance with the former president.
“It is important to open your eyes and have humility to understand that today (Lula) is the one that best reflects the hopes of the Brazilian people ”, added this trained doctor, born in Pindamonhangaba, in the state of Sao Paulo.
An austere technocrat, Alckmin acquired a reputation as a solid manager during his four terms as governor of São Paulo (2001-2006 and 2011-2018), the most populous state in Brazil, who has reassured businessmen.
Far from being a tribune, this bald man with fine glasses received an unflattering nickname: “Picolé de Chuchu” (“Cayote ice cream”in Spanish), referring to a tropical vegetable related to zucchini and with a bland taste.
But during the campaign he appropriated this nickname with humor: “Squid (Lula, in Portuguese) and cayote go very well together,” he said, inspiring culinary recipes posted on social networks.
A doctor by profession, he began his political career as a city councilor in his hometown. in 1977 became the youngest mayor of Brazil at 25. He held this position until 1982. After the office of mayor, he was a federal deputy for two terms.
In 1988 he participated in the creation of the Brazilian Social Democratic Party (PSDB). He is married and has three children.
Source: AFP and Clarin