Two of Brazil’s main parties have nominated candidates of Lebanese descent for the country’s upcoming presidential election in October, according to an article by The National.
Fernando Haddad, former mayor of São Paulo, is running on one of the largest political movements in Latin America — the left leaning Workers’ Party.
Haddad was previously the running mate of presidential candidate Lula da Silva. He is widely expected to become a presidential nominee after Lula’s candidacy was denied by the Supreme Electoral Court due to his conviction for corruption crimes.
Geraldo Alckmin, chairman of the Brazilian Social Democracy Party, is also a candidate for Brazil’s highest office. He previously served two non-consecutive terms as governor of São Paulo.
“Mr Alckmin, seen as a candidate for the business community in a country reeling from a crime epidemic and poverty, may have his work cut out but he is vying to replace Michel Temer, the incumbent and another politician of Lebanese heritage – his parents emigrated from the town of Btaaboura in northern Lebanon in 1925,” The National wrote.
Lebanese descendants have called Latin America home since the late 1800s. They immigrated to Latin countries in two waves, most prominently after the collapse of the Lebanese silk trade.
“Should any of them be successful, they would join a long list of other children of Lebanese emigrants who have made their mark on Latin American politics, joining the recently-elected president of Paraguay, Mario Abdo Beníte and Argentina’s First Lady Juliana Awada,” The National reported.