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Far-right incumbent Jair Bolsonaro received several key endorsements Tuesday for Brazil’s presidential runoff election, including from influential corruption buster Sergio Moro, his one-time justice minister, who had quit his administration in protest in 2020. online news
Bolsonaro and his leftist challenger, ex-president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, are both aggressively chasing endorsements for their October 30 showdown, after the incumbent finished a closer-than-expected runner-up in Sunday’s first-round election.
“Lula is not an option,” Moro, the ex-judge who led the massive “Car Wash” graft investigation, wrote on Twitter.
“His government was stained by the corruption of democracy,” he said. “I declare my support for Bolsonaro in the second round.”
Moro is famous as the judge who jailed Lula, the biggest name felled in “Car Wash,” which uncovered a sprawling web of corruption that stole billions from state-run oil company Petrobras.
Moro resigned his judgeship to become Bolsonaro’s justice minister in 2019, but quit the following year, accusing the president of interfering in police investigations that targeted his inner circle.
The resignation was hugely damaging for Bolsonaro, who had run on an anti-corruption platform.
But the president said all that was now “water under the bridge.”
“From here on, it’s a new relationship,” he said. “There are no scores to settle.”
Brazil’s Supreme Court annulled Lula’s controversial corruption convictions last year, ruling Moro was biased in the case.
Moro tried to make a presidential run himself this year, but failed to garner enough support and opted instead for the Senate, winning a seat for the southern state of Parana.
Bolsonaro also got endorsements from the governors of Brazil’s second- and third-biggest states, Minas Gerais and Rio de Janeiro — newly re-elected Romeu Zema and Claudio Castro, respectively.
He also scored one from outgoing Governor Rodrigo Garcia of Sao Paulo, Brazil’s most populous and wealthiest state, who lost his own re-election bid.
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