Lula ally slain on eve of Brazilian presidential runoff

Sao Paulo, Oct 28 (EFE).- A former municipal councilor and prominent supporter of former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva was gunned down Friday, just two days Brazilians will choose between Lula and incumbent Jair Bolsonaro in a presidential runoff.

Reginaldo Camilo dos Santos, known as “Zezinho of the PT” for his association with Lula’s center-left Workers Party (PT), died in a drive-by shooting near his home in the Sao Paulo suburb of Jandira, police said.

Dos Santos, 51, was a council member in Jandira until 2020, when he ran unsuccessfully for mayor. His bid for a seat in Brazil’s Congress in this year’s elections also fell short.

“He had made many accusations about corruption in Jandira and so we are already in contact with the Civil Police to investigate the possible political motivations for the murder,” said Emidio de Souza, a PT member of the Sao Paulo state legislature.

Congressman-elect Guilherme Boulos, who picked up the most votes among congressional candidates in the state on the ticket of the Socialism and Freedom Party, also demanded a speedy investigation.

“Another political murder. Comrade Zezinho of the PT, leader of the left in Jandira, was murdered in front of his house,” Boulos said. “Enough of political violence.”

Lula, who governed Brazil from 2003-2011, leads the right-wing Bolsonaro in the polls by 49 percent to 44 percent heading into Sunday’s vote.

The most polarized presidential race in Brazil’s recent history has witnessed considerable violence, most of it directed at members of the PT. EFE cm/dr

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