Amid many groups that have shown themselves opposed to the newly elected government, the future President Lula tries to sew alliances and solidify support to maintain a stable government. In order to achieve that, on Tuesday (29/11), the federation that brings together PT, PV and PCdoB announced that it will support the reappointment of Federal Chamber President Arthur Lira to the position. Together, the three parties will have 80 deputies starting in the next legislature – PT (68), PV (6) and PC do B (6). The PSB – the party of elected vice president Geraldo Alckmin, who is not a member of the federation – also announced support for Lira’s re-election. The party will have 14 deputies next year.

The “Centrão”

Arthur Lira is an important political player in the Congress, since he represents one of the most powerful groups among federal legislators, the so called Centrão, which is normally described as a group almost never tied to ideological objectives. Instead, it seeks to negotiate resources and other benefits in exchange for political support.

By allying to the “Centrão”, Lula may politically enable its government. According to political experts, the same move was carried out by Jair Bolsonaro’s Government. This alliance would have ended up in the creation of a bill that provided many resources to Federal Deputies. The law was nicknamed the “Secret Budget”, since it provided resources to politicians, who would not be known.

The MDB, PSD and União Brasil

In order to face the fierce opposition elected to the Congress, Lula also plans to form a political base with MDB, PSD and União Brasil. However, the alliances with these parties will depend on the negotiation of ministries in the new government.

But the task to balance interests of everyone that supported Lula’s candidacy has been proven a hard one. With old acquaintances from other PT governments and new faces, historic allies and former adversaries, the transition team of president-elect Luiz Inácio is heading towards completing a month of work with 416 members —the largest of all transitions since 2002. Lula’s transitional government has practically twice as many members as Jair Bolsonaro’s team in 2018, 220 people. At the end of 2002, the transition team for Lula’s first term had 69 people.

Behind the scenes, a dispute is already unfolding to fill vacancies in the second and third echelons of the federal government. At the same time, the strongest names articulate to obtain ministries. The division into 31 technical groups is seen as an outline of the future government and the ministries that will form it.

Power struggles in technical groups for leadership positions, such as that of minister, will likely bring fights and potential instability to the future government.

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