It has been reported that US-trained Lava Jato Judge Sergio Moro, who is currently polling single figures for the forthcoming presidential election, will now leave the Podemos party to join to newly formed União Brasil – a merger of heirs to 1964-85 dictatorship government ARENA, DEM (formerly PFL), and Bolsonaro’s former home and base of his initial government in which Moro served, the far right PSL.
Update 1/4/2022: Following publication, G1 reported that Sergio Moro had told allies that he has not given up on the presidency, but will seek to build a candidature from União Brasil. To confuse matters further, União Brasil’s representatives in congress then publicly threatened Moro with expulsion from his new party unless he abandoned his intent to run for president, clarifying that his acceptance to the party was based on the condition that he would instead run for a congressional seat.
All articles on the joint US-Brazil anti-corruption operation Lava Jato, which underpinned the 2016 coup against the Rousseff government and jailed Lula, enabling Jair Bolsonaro’s rise to power.
Journalist Igor Gadelha on the Metrópoles website, writes that “the expectation at União Brasil is that Moro will give up being a candidate for the Presidency of the Republic and run for a seat in the Chamber of Deputies”.
The former judge will join the party that united DEM and PSL, which formed the original base of the Bolsonaro government.
Beset by his own scandals, of judicial bias and financial conflicts of interest, disgraced former anti-corruption hero Moro, who was decorated by the military multiple times for his “services to Brazil” during the 2016 coup and 2018 election, had earlier attempted to interfere in the 2014 vote by leaking fabricated material to the press designed to prevent Dilma Rousseff’s victory. He would go on to be an important actor in the 2016 coup to remove her.
In 2019, Moro, whose connections to to US government were already known, shocked Brazil by visiting CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia with newly inaugurated president Bolsonaro.
In January 2022, former head of Senate Renan Calheiros predicted that Moro would soon be “deactivated” by his US owners, having ceased to be useful to them.
When his candidacy was launched in November 2021, despite earlier insistences that he would not enter electoral politics, Moro was seen as a realistic rival to the man he jailed, the Workers Party’s Lula da Silva, and the man he helped elect, far-right Jair Bolsonaro, under whom he served as Justice Minister. But Moro’s envisaged support has not materialised, and despite supportive media coverage he did not reach the threshold of 15% in the polls upon which his candidacy was said to depend.
Moro reportedly decided to leave Podemos after being pressured by the party to transfer his electoral base from the state of Paraná to São Paulo, where he would have a better chance of running for a congress if he abandoned the presidential race. Rosangela Moro, the former judge’s wife, had already responded to Podemos’s requests and joined the party in São Paulo, where she is also expected to run for a Congressional seat.
Moro’s exit from the race would strengthen incumbent far-right president Bolsonaro, and with the former judge out of the picture, PSDB’s São Paulo Governor João Doria, who was expected to abandon his own presidential run, will now continue in his attempt to capture a “third way” electorate, which has so far proven to be phantom.