Lula, who has a significant lead over his far-right counterpart Jair Bolsonaro in opinion polls, will meet with President Douglas Konep, who is currently absent from the US ambassador to Brazil. The US embassy has confirmed his appointment.
It is common for US diplomats in Brazil to regularly hold personal meetings with political parties and candidates, the embassy said in a statement. “We intend to continue this effort to meet with all the major presidential candidates for the October election.”
The meeting underscored Lula’s growing electoral momentum ahead of the October 2 election.
The United States is still suspicious of former President Lula, who was jailed on corruption charges that were dropped last year, after US investigators said he cooperated with Brazilian prosecutors to jail him.
Until now, Lula’s camp and the US government had been communicating through intermediaries. In May, Reuters reported that Lula quietly sent his envoy, Senator Jacques Wagner, to meet with State Department officials in Washington in April.
Members of Lula’s camp have met with European diplomats and BRICS members Russia, India, China and South Africa, two of the sources said.
Lula’s Workers’ Party (PT) is asking foreign diplomats to offer quick congratulations on Lula’s victory, to guard against possible attempts by Bolsonaro to question the results, one of the sources said.
Bolsonaro has repeatedly sought to undermine the credibility of Brazil’s electronic voting system by making unsubstantiated allegations of electoral fraud.
Lula will be joined by Wagner and former foreign secretary Celso Amorim at the meeting with Koneff, a source said.
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