Lula Compares Rousseff to Mandela and Bets She’ll Be Brazil’s Next President

Lula with DilmaThe president of Brazil, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, said he is convinced that his pick as presidential candidate Dilma Rousseff, his former chief of staff, will the next Brazilian president in the October national election and suggested some kind of parallelism with South Africa’s Nelson Mandela.

In an interview with Bandeirantes, a television channel from São Paulo, Lula confirmed he will continue to campaign in favor of Ms Rousseff and recalled that she was jailed and tortured during the Brazilian military dictatorship that lasted from 1964 to 1985, but “she has no resentment, she’s not after revenge, she came out of jail to struggle for the return of democracy to Brazil,” something like Mandela in South Africa.

The truth is that Mandela spent 27 years in jail for fighting against apartheid, and in effect when he was set free, it was a desperate attempt by the white minority to contain an over powered, threatening black majority that could burst out of control.

“Dilma is not my candidate, Dilma is the candidate of the (ruling) Workers Party,” insisted Lula who added that he will continue to work at the presidential palace from 8 in the morning to 10 pm. “After that shift I’m free to go to the political rallies in support of Dilma,” said the Brazilian president who has already been fined twice for campaigning (in working hours) for the incumbent candidate.

Regarding his political future once he leaves office next January first, Lula said he will continue as “a political militant” and denied he was interested in having a job with the United Nations.

“Jobs in the UN must be occupied by bureaucrats. They must be neutral people, and I don’t fit with that profile,” admitted Lula da Silva.

As to the current international standing of Brazil, Lula said it was not only a merit of his administration. He said there is a global pre-disposition to recognize what Brazil is and its political and economic potential, as well as a new attitude in Brazil.

“Brazil will continue to be respected overseas, no matter who the next president is,” he emphasized.

In related news the latest public opinion polls indicate that 34% of voters for next October have opted for opposition candidate and Sao Paulo governor Jose Serra, while 31% support Ms Dilma Rousseff.

The Vox Populi poll for the Bandeirantes Television network and printed by O Estado de S. Paulo, shows that José Serra, the ex-governor of São Paulo, from the main opposition Brazilian Social Democrat party PSDB remains ahead in voters preference.

The PSDB ruled Brazil for eight years under President Fernando Cardoso before Lula’s two consecutive mandates.

Dilma Rousseff, who was actually hand picked by Lula da Silva has recuperated four points (from 27% to 31%) since the previous January poll from Vox Populi.

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