Brazil’s former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva officially presented his candidacy for the country’s presidency ahead of the Brazilian elections in October, at an event with thousands of supporters in Sao Paulo.

In the presence of the leaders of most of Brazil’s left-wing parties, Lula da Silva officially launched his candidacy for the Brazilian presidency.

At 76, Lula, who governed Brazil between 2003 and 2010, aspires to return to the presidency of Brazil at the head of the Workers’ Party. To this end, he has joined forces with one of his political rivals, the former governor of Sao Paulo, Geraldo Alckmin, against whom Lula won re-election in 2006 and who aspires to be the country’s vice-president.

Alckmin joined the Brazilian Socialist Party in March after 33 years in the Brazilian Social Democracy Party and subsequently joined Lula’s candidacy in an attempt to attract votes from the centre and the Brazilian right.

With COVID-19, Alckmin was conspicuously absent from the event, although he appeared on a large screen to call for a vote for Lula in the election.

In his speech, Lula adopted a moderate and conciliatory tone, in a very polarised country, and said that Brazil needs calm and unity to overcome the serious moment it is going through, with rising inflation and unemployment and the effects caused in the economy by the pandemic and the conflict between Russia and Ukraine.

“The serious moment the country is going through, one of the most serious in our history, obliges us to overcome any divergences in order to build together an alternative to the incompetence and authoritarianism that govern us. It is necessary to unite the divergent in order to confront the antagonistic,” declared Lula da Silva.

Lula defended the legacy of his government and Brazilian sovereignty, taking care of the mineral wealth and forests, in a clear allusion to the high levels of destruction in the Amazon, and assured that he does not intend to offer a ministry to his successor in office, Dilma Rousseff, because according to him “her greatness does not fit in a ministry”.

“It is more than urgent to restore sovereignty. But this is not limited to the extremely important mission of safeguarding our borders. It is also about defending our mineral wealth, our forests, our rivers, our seas, our biodiversity. Our sovereignty and democracy are constantly under attack by the irresponsible and criminal policies of the current government,” said Lula.

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