Brazilian president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva broke down to tears in front of the TV cameras during an interview with Brazilian network TV Record. This happened when the popular leader recapped some of his administration’s social achievements.
He was particularly moved when he recalled a loan granted by a government bank to a cooperative of card board and paper for recycling collectors and when he received a delegation of homeless at the presidential palace.
Lula steps down next December 31st after eight years in office and did not discard a possible return in 2014. He has a support rating above 80% and has been the most popular leader of Brazil since Getúlio Vargas six decades ago.
“I’m speaking from my heart when I say that I will not run for president in 2014, but in politics you can never say no. Anyway, other than having some neuronal problems I should only think and focus on becoming a good ex president.”
Presidential elections will take place on next October 3rd, and Lula’s Workers Party is promoting candidate Dilma Rousseff, his former Energy minister and cabinet chief, who is facing the tightest dispute in decades.
Lula also broke into tears when he remembered his poor childhood and his past as a union leader and when he personally delivered a credit of 200 million reais (US$ 113 million) from the BNDES to the cardboard collectors cooperative, many of whom lived under bridges in downtown São Paulo.
The Brazilian leader cried again after he recalled when the Brazilian Homeless Movement entered the presidential palace for the first time without any protesting intentions but simply to express their gratitude for having been invited.
“I think I’m getting older and that’s why I get this emotional,” Lula da Silva said to the journalist that was leading the interview.
However he admitted that if Ms Rousseff is finally elected, he would be willing to participate in social programs. But “my successor will have to begin applying next January her plans and actions. For me in the meantime it will mean looking at the First Lady (his wife Marisa Letícia) and I’m sure she’ll look back and ask me “what now Lulinha.”