How a yellow jersey is dividing Brazil’s ruling Workers’ Party — and how the United States is using it as a tool against the global movement
In Brazil, politics is often conducted through the prism of the presidential race. But no race in recent Brazilian history has shown the extent to which what are known in the United States as “blue states” and “red states” can have real impact on other parties and regions.
While not everything is predictable, last Saturday saw the launch of a high-profile campaign to divide the ruling Workers’ Party (PT) in Brazil — a campaign that will play out across different regions as the US seeks to make its influence felt.
This campaign — which is already having some unexpected results — has exposed divisions within the Workers’ Party, which is led by President Michel Temer. The president and the PT will have to confront a new, potentially divisive force — namely the yellow jersey of the yellow-clad Workers’ Party.
The yellow jersey divides Brazil’s political terrain. During elections in 2014, it helped the PT maintain its grip on power. In 2016, however, it helped the Workers’ Party in the lead up to an upset victory over the president in the first round, leading to a second-round run-off between Temer and the front-runner, center-left candidate Aécio Neves.
A yellow jersey is an unofficial symbol that was created by the Workers’ Party, and has no legal meaning. The yellow jersey had traditionally been a part of the Workers’ Party’s campaigning methods, and its use had previously been restricted to the presidential elections.
However, in October 2013 — with the rise of the yellow jersey’s popularity — the Workers’ Party used it in its campaign for the senate, and its use in subsequent rounds of federal elections was permitted.
Now, according to the Workers’ Party, it is to be used on a nationwide scale, with political groups and even some parties using their own unofficial flags in the run-up to the presidential election which will be held in October 2019