Lula runs for president to “rebuild” Brazil

Former left-wing president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva confirmed this Saturday that he will try to return to power in Brazil with the October elections, to prevent a second term of the far-right Jair Bolsonaro and “rebuild” the country.

“We are willing to work not only for victory on October 2, but for the reconstruction and transformation of Brazil, which will be much more difficult than winning the election,” Lula said during an act in Sao Paulo before some 4,000 members and supporters. of his Workers’ Party (PT) and other leftist parties that support his candidacy.

Icon of the Brazilian left, Lula will run again twelve years after leaving power with a historic approval (87%) and after a troubled period in which he was convicted of corruption, imprisoned for more than a year and prevented from contesting the elections of 2018.

His return to the fight was an open secret fueled by himself since he regained his political rights in 2021, when the Federal Supreme Court (STF) annulled his convictions on the grounds that he was not judged impartially.

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“We want to return so that no one ever dares to challenge our democracy again and so that fascism returns to the pipes of history from which it should never have come out,” said Lula, 76, wearing a white shirt and blue suit, on a stage decorated with a giant Brazilian flag, a symbol frequently associated with Bolsonarism and right-wing militants.

The campaign officially begins in August and until then the candidates can only present themselves publicly as “pre-candidates”, but for months both Bolsonaro and Lula have participated in public events with an electoral tone.

With five months to go before the elections, everything indicates that the election will be settled between this former metallurgical worker, who presided over Brazil between 2003 and 2010, and the former Army captain who came to power in 2019, two political enemies with completely antagonistic proposals.

“Lula is a phenomenon, he is history, he has to become president again so that everything improves, violence, health, education… he is the only person who will be able to remove the current president,” Edilaine Machado told AFP. 46 years old, one of the guests at the event.

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– “Together for Brazil”-

“Instead of promises, I present the immense legacy of our previous governments. We did a lot, but I am aware that it is still necessary and possible to do much more,” said Lula, pilot of the Brazilian economic “miracle” who, pushed by the wind to favor of the high prices of raw materials, lifted 30 million people out of poverty, in a country of 213 million inhabitants.

In a speech read, the former president promised to resume the fight against hunger, unemployment, and defend the environment, indigenous peoples and other minorities.

His candidacy was launched under the slogan “Let’s go together for Brazil”, an alliance of the PT with other leftist parties with which Lula has been forging alliances in recent months.

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