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.



    • Show Comments (0)

    Your email address will not be published.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

    comment *

    • name *

    • email *

    • website *


    You May Also Like

    Brazilian President Lula speaks

    Lula Soothes Brazilians, Then Asks Them to Trust Him and Go Out and Shop

    Despite the international economic crisis the President of Brazil, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, ...

    Brazil's Prosecutor-General Rodrigo Janot and the banner: All Together Against Corruption - Marcelo Camargo/ABr

    Brazil’s Prosecutor-general Says Only a New Culture Can End the Country’s Endemic Corruption

    Brazil’s Prosecutor-General Rodrigo Janot released a statement saying that the unprecedented quality and quantity ...

    Protest against Temer in São Paulo by Rovena Rosa

    Brazil’s New President Returns the Offense: Coup-mongers Are Those Against the Constitution

    In an address broadcast countrywide on radio and television, Brazilian President Michel Temer pledged ...

    Anti-corruption protest - Photo: Wesley Almeida/

    Brazil Gasps at Festival of Christmas Presidential Pardons for the Corrupted

    Brazilian anti-corruption prosecutors and organizations raised their voice this weekend against President Michel Temer’s ...

    Burnt out area of the Jamanxim National Forest in the Amazon state of Pará - Photo: Antonio Scorza

    Under Pressure to Curb Deforestation, Brazil Sends Mixed Message to the World

    Last week saw a busy, but contradictory, stream of actions likely to impact Amazonian ...

    Brazilian Industry Urges Drastic Cuts in Expenditure and Taxes

    Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva called for "more boldness" to help the ...

    Lula Invites Brazilians to See on Site How Money Is Being Spent

    In his TV address to the nation, yesterday, June 23, Brazilian President Luiz Inácio ...

    Minister Carlos Lupi

    If It All Goes As In Scripts Past Brazil Will Soon Lose 6th Minister to Corruption

    According to Brazil’s most popular weekly news magazine, Veja, advisers to Brazilian Labor minister ...