Brazilian president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva compared candidate Dilma Rousseff to a mother and told her, if elected, to always think about the poor. Lula and Ms Rousseff participated in a political rally in the metropolitan São Paulo.
“It’s not the father but the mother which forges our character,” said Lula who also cautioned Ms Rousseff about the people who will surround her if she’s elected Brazil’s first woman president next October 3.
“There will be many people round you, trying to fence you in. Whenever in doubt don’t think about me, think about the poor,” said Lula.
Ms Rousseff promised that if elected she “will be a mother for our people…I won’t commit mistakes so that women can have more access and opportunities of reaching government.”
She added that Brazilians will recall with their hearts the two (consecutive) administrations of President Lula because of the social policies he implemented “which helped so many Brazilians out of poverty.”
“Only one thing is going to comfort us when Lula steps down and that is that I will give continuity to his government and his policies, there’s no going back,” promised Dilma Rousseff who’s leading her main contender by at least ten points according to the latest opinion polls.
Lula in other rallies has said Ms Rousseff is his “incarnation” as a woman (that will continue his policies) and even compared the candidate with Jesus Christ for all the sufferings and persecutions she suffered when a guerrilla in the sixties and seventies.
In related news the government announced that Lula’s radio program “Coffee with the President” will cease to be aired following claims from the opposition that it is being used to promote the candidacy of incumbent candidate Ms Rousseff.
The main opposition party PSDB anticipated it would present a demand next week but the Lula administration informed the Electoral Tribunal that it would be off the air beginning Monday.
“The president uses the program to promote government actions and indirectly support for Ms Rousseff his minister and cabinet chief for seven years.” said the opposition’s action.
PSDB candidate José Serra also questioned the recent creation of TV Brazil, a government channel which he described as “an instrument to make propaganda in favor of the administration and employ journalists close to the government.”
Serra addressing a convention of journalists also questioned the so-called “social control” of the media promoted by the Lula administration, which he said was equivalent to restricting freedom of the press and a form of “censorship”.
The Lula administration reacted quickly to the statements with a wide range statement.
“The press in Brazil is free. The press investigates, and – ceases to investigate – what it pleases. Publishes, and does not publish, what ever it wishes. It formalizes opinion, and ceases to judge, what it feels best. All Brazilians know that is how it works,” said a release signed by the Communications Secretary Franklin Martins.
President Lula has clashed on several occasions with the large media organizations in Brazil.