Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva is headed toward a first-round victory Sunday in Brazil’s election, a new poll predicts.
Silva’s strong showing in the poll released, yesterday, September 26, amid a political scandal that has shaken his center-left Workers Party with allegations that it sought to purchase a dossier that apparently contained damaging information about a key opponent.
The survey by the Sensus organization predicted Silva would get 59% of the vote if the elections were held now, compared with 32% for chief rival, former São Paulo Governor Geraldo Alckmin. Silva needs just 50% to avoid an October 29 runoff.
The telephone survey of 2,000 people was conducted Friday-Sunday and had a margin of error of 3 percentage points.
Silva’s party is accused of trying to purchase a mysterious packet of information that supposedly contained incriminating information about Alckmin and José Serra, who is favored to beat PT candidate Aloizio Mercadante in the Sao Paulo governor’s race.
Alckmin said Tuesday that Silva should be investigated.
"The PT (Workers Party) and people linked to the president of the republic bought a dossier for 1.7 million reais (U$ 781,000), and no one has yet said where that money came from, how those dollars entered the country, and that is a crime that has to be verified," Alckmin told reporters.
A close aide of Silva was named as an intermediary in the alleged scheme and Silva’s campaign manager stepped down in connection with the investigation last week.
Brazil’s electoral court gave Silva ten days to present his defense to charges he participated in the scheme.
Chief electoral Judge Marco Aurélio Mello has said Silva’s candidacy could be ended if he is found to be involved in any wrongdoing. But a verdict is unlikely before the October 1st election.
If the court rules before January 1st, when Silva would start his second term, his election could be declared null and new elections called.