Former Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva is expected to announce his presidential candidacy today. The left-wing former president
Former Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva is expected to announce his presidential candidacy today.
The left-wing former president will be running against right-wing incumbent Jair Bolsonaro. Bolsonaro overturned protections of Indigenous lands, silenced journalists, attacked democratic institutions, and mismanaged the COVID-19 pandemic, leaving 660,000 dead. His supporters are drawn to his anti-socialist economic solutions, populist rhetoric, and his crusade to keep Brazil from falling to communism.
Lula spent his 2003 to 2011 presidency implementing social programs, enacting protections for underprivileged communities, and supporting workers’ rights. During his two terms, unemployment rates were low, wages were high, and his approval rating reached 87%.
Lula was nevertheless imprisoned in 2018 for corruption and money laundering. However, in 2021 the Supreme Court ruled that the judge who convicted Lula was biased, allowing Lula to run in the 2022 elections.
If elected, Lula has pledged to restore the democracy Bolsonaro has damaged. Recent polls project Lula securing 45% of the vote with Bolsonaro at 35%. Still, Bolsonaro firmly holds the votes of 25% of the population and controls federal funds to buy support. Despite Bolsonaro’s loyal following, Brazilians will likely elect Lula in October in hopes of recovering social and economic stability.