Brazil’s Lula makes his po­lit­i­cal come­back

The China Post - - INTERNATIONAL -

Brazil’s pop­u­lar ex-pres­i­dent Luiz Ina­cio Lula da Silva de­clared on Satur­day that he is re­turn­ing to the bruis­ing po­lit­i­cal front­lines to de­fend his suc­ces­sor, the em­bat­tled Dilma Rouss­eff.

“Our op­po­nents talk about me from morn­ing un­til night ... Well, it’s harder to kill a bird if he keeps fly­ing. That’s why I started fly­ing again,” Lula, 69, said at a rally in Sao Paulo state, a day af­ter ad­mit­ting he could even seek the pres­i­dency again in 2018.

“Well, now I am go­ing to speak. I am go­ing to talk. I am go­ing to give in­ter­views and I am go­ing to make peo­ple un­com­fort­able,” Lula added.

On Fri­day he said that he did not want to see his rul­ing Work­ers’ Party lose power af­ter 12 years.

“I am sure that our ri­vals are head­ing out to undo what we achieved in im­prov­ing peo­ple’s lives,” he told the rally.

“I have broad shoul­ders and I have been beaten up plenty in my life. Let’s see if our ri­vals give our beloved Dilma a lit­tle break and start be­ing both­ered by me again,” Lula said, along­side for­mer Uruguayan pres­i­dent Jose Mu­jica.

Lula was in of­fice from 2003 to 2010 and was the coun­try’s first demo­crat­i­cally elected left­ist leader.

He spent gen­er­ously on so­cial pro­grams to re­duce the num­ber of Brazil­ians liv­ing in poverty and the econ­omy boomed to the world’s sev­enth largest.

On his heels, Rouss­eff has been re-elected, but her pop­u­lar­ity is at a stag­ger­ing low of 8 per­cent, with the econ­omy in re­ces­sion and her gov­ern­ment rocked by cor­rup­tion scan­dals.

Rouss­eff her­self has not been ac­cused but she chaired the board at Petro­bras be­tween 2003 and 2010, when much of the al­leged cor­rup­tion was flour­ish­ing.

Pros­e­cu­tors es­ti­mate that US$2.1 bil­lion in bribes were paid as part of the scheme.

Lula is be­ing in­ves­ti­gated in an un­re­lated in­flu­ence-ped­dling probe, but has not been charged.

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