• Categories
  • Archives

Lula Admits Courts Might Prevent Him from Becoming Brazilian President Again

Lula dancing with fans - Ricardo Stuckert/Instituto Lula

Former Brazilian president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva told Reuters on Wednesday that his recent conviction for corruption might mean that his Workers Party will have to field a candidate other than him in next year’s election.

In an interview during a marathon bus tour through Brazil’s impoverished northeastern states, Lula said the Brazilian government should spend its way out of its worst recession on record and even use some of its international reserves instead of cutting government programs that hurt the poor.

Lula’s 2003-11 government lifted millions from poverty and polls show he is still one of Brazil’s most popular politicians. However, his political future hangs in the balance after he was convicted last month of receiving bribes from a construction firm in return for help winning government contracts.

If that conviction is upheld on appeal, Lula will likely be barred from running and could be imprisoned.

“I know my enemies want to block any possibility of me being a candidate and I am fighting that,” Lula, 71, told Reuters in a hotel room where he complained that his arms hurt from physically embracing thousands of supporters who have turned out at every stop of his tour.

“But nobody is irreplaceable,” he added. “If there is any problem, the Workers Party has to be able to launch another candidate.”

A possible stand-in is the former mayor of São Paulo, Fernando Haddad, who gained national prominence as education minister under Lula and extended university access to poorer Brazilians.

Brazil’s real currency extended gains on the news that Lula was contemplating his own replacement, firming more than 1.2 percent to its strongest in more than two weeks. Traders said the prospect of a 2018 race without Lula reinforced bets on Brazil sticking to fiscal austerity and pursuing structural reforms.

Meanwhile in Brasília, Finance minister Henrique Meirelles said that a presidential candidate running on a reformist platform, who promises to maintain the current government’s efforts to control expenses and put public spending in order, will have a good chance in the next election.

“If you ask me who is going to win, I believe that a reformist message should win”, he said in an interview with daily newspaper Folha de S. Paulo.

“The populist position has been sufficiently tested and the result was negative. The population has been alerted to this.”

A member of the PSD, one of the parties that supports President Michel Temer in Congress, Meirelles has been mentioned as a potential candidate for the governing block for the presidential elections of 2018, but he changes the subject when questioned about the idea.

“I am focused on my work, which is to carry out the reforms and ensure the growth of the country for the next few years”, he says. “I’m not worried about my future”.

In Meirelles’ opinion, a platform in favor of reform and austerity will have a good chance in the presidential election if it is associated with a recovery of the economy, which seems to be slowly emerging from the deep recession it has been in for the last three years.

Mercopress

Tags:

  • Show Comments (0)

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

comment *

  • name *

  • email *

  • website *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Ads

You May Also Like

Oil Multinationals Might Soon Have a Bigger Piece of Brazil’s Offshore Pie

Brazil’s House of Representatives is ready to vote on whether to privatize the country’s ...

Former president Lula and judge Sergio Moro

Lula Gets Assurances from Moro He Doesn’t Face Imminent Arrest

Brazil’s former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, after almost five hours of testimony ...

Brazilian First Lady Marcela Temer and her husband - Beto Barata/PR

Brazil President Celebrates Women’s Day Reminding a Lady’s Place Is in the Kitchen and the Supermarket

Brazilian President Michel Temer delivered a speech Wednesday at his presidential palace in Brazilian ...

Xingu river, in the Brazilian Amazon - Photo: Paulino Menezes

Brazil Wishes to Double Number of Foreign Tourists It Gets. But This Will Be a Tough Sell

Brazil, South America’s largest nation, has many natural and cultural treasures that are popular ...

A protester with a head sign: Out, Temer - Paulo Pinto/Agência PT

Why Brazil’s Chaos Is No Reason for Panic

Brazil’s political turmoil is going into overdrive, exacerbated in recent days by the discovery ...

Lula, Brazil’s Ex-president, One Step Closer to Jail

Brazil’s Supreme Court approved a request to probe former President Luiz Inácio Lula da ...

Excuse us for the mess. We're changing the country.

Mapping Brazil’s Political Polarization Online

People increasingly use social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter as their primary source ...

Brazilian journalist Gleydson Carvalho killed while he was on air

Murder and Impunity: The Risky Business of Being a Journalist in Brazil

Brazil and Mexico are among the countries that saw the highest increases in impunity ...