Brazil’s Lula Pans Those Who Are Betting on His Failure

Brazil’s government will not alter the country’s direction on account of the 2006 elections. Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva gave this assurance today.

According to Lula, the Brazilian population need not be upset by the charges of corruption, because they will not affect the policies adopted by the government. The President went on to say that he is convinced he is on the right path.

Lula affirmed that the government has been doing a good job and should deliver even better results next year through the creation of more job openings. According to Lula, this is the first time that Brazil has combined economic growth with low inflation (5%).

The president also criticized those who are betting on his Administration to fail.

Ealier this month, Lula said that he is convinced that the alleged "mensalão" scheme did not exist.

"Mensalão" refers to a purported monthly allowance paid by the PT to members of allied parties in the Congress in exchange for voting support on measures of interest to the government.

"I am certain that there was no mensalão. This mensalão business reeks of Congressional folklore," he commented during the "Live Circuit" ["Roda Viva"] program, a TV Cultura production aired on public television.

Lula said that he felt betrayed by the charges of corruption in his party, the PT.

"I felt betrayed, because I know how much I fought for this party. The behavior of some of my companions did not square with that of the PT. In the history of humanity, easy money never did anybody any good. That is why I think I was betrayed," he affirmed.

The Brazilian President pointed out, however, that the party will succeed in reconstituting the image that has been tainted by the crisis. "I believe that the PT will recover the image it built over 20 years in the eyes of Brazilian society."

According to the President, ex-federal deputy Roberto Jefferson (PTB – Rio de Janeiro) was deprived of his parliamentary mandate for failure to substantiate the accusations he made about the mensalão.

"Jefferson did a disservice to the nation. He raised doubts about everybody, without offering proof. Accusations should only be made if there exists proof," he said.

Lula also avowed that he defends ex-presidential chief of staff, José Dirceu, because there is no concrete charge against his former aide.

"I support him, because I don’t know what the accusation is against José Dirceu. The original contention referred to government funds in PT accounts, and up to now this hasn’t been corroborated. I cannot regard these charges as true, because I would be committing an injustice," he affirmed.

According to the president, Dirceu returned to the Chamber of Deputies to "cease being a display window for the opposition to bombard."

ABr

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