Lula Throws Hat in Brazilian Reelection Ring With 3 to 1 Poll Advantage

Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva announced Saturday in Brazil’s capital BrasÀ­lia his re-election bid for the coming general election next October 1.

Lula made the long expected announcement official during a convention of his Workers Party in Brasí­lia before 4.000 delegates, members of Congress and grass root leaders.

"I’m here to tell you I’ve accepted once again, the call to continue the struggle for the construction of a more fair and independent Brazil, where every Brazilian can have three meals a day, a job, education and health, and live in a more modern and humane country," said Lula before the crowd that shouted for his re-election.

The Brazilian president added that the call came from his followers, but also from "deep inside his heart" and therefore will "humbly" let the electorate decide.

The announcement puts an end to months of speculation when the former metal workers union leader said last February that the "electoral campaign should not be advanced" so the opposition did not have a chance to criticize him.

Leaders from the Workers Party said the "electoral machine" was ready and "singing" and the party’s chairman Ricardo Berzoini added that President Lula "has lost 14 kilos" and looking "much younger".

The party’s grassroots organization and militancy are committed to support candidate Lula in spite of the opposition’s offensive to discredit his administration’s "corruption record" and favoritism in the public opinion polls.

"I’m a candidate again because the poor are less poor and they will continue to improve their living conditions with the social assistance programs we started. I’m again a candidate because we’ve recovered an economy which we received extremely fragile. Because we have proved it is possible to guarantee at the same time, stability, growth and income distribution," emphasized the Brazilian president.

The campaign slogan is already in the streets of Brazil and reads "Lula de novo, com a força do povo" ("Lula again with the will of the people"), which besides in Portuguese rhymes impeccably.

President Lula has managed to remain immune to the corruption scandals which have rocked his administration and enjoys high popularity ratings, mainly because of the economic stability, low inflation and higher incomes his orthodox administration has managed.

Besides, the Lula administration has invested huge resources in social programs to help millions of poor Brazilians. In Brazil well over half the population lives below the poverty line.

Since the end of 2005, Lula has been leading in opinion polls as the favorite candidate of Brazilians and the latest surveys show him trebling his main opponent Social democrat Geraldo Alckmin, if the elections were held today.

Mercopress – www.mercopress.com

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