Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, a leftist who is running for president, declared on Tuesday (Jun 21) that he will prioritize social policies and the preservation of the Amazon in his administration.
Lula, a founding member of the Workers' Party (Partido dos Trabalhadores in Portuguese), made his first attempt at running for politics in 1982 as his party's candidate for governor of the state of So Paulo. He came in fourth place. He later organized large-scale protests in state capitals in 1983 and 1984 in support of direct presidential elections on a national level.
Lula was elected as a federal representative from So Paulo to the national Chamber of Deputies in 1986, buoyed by his popularity and charisma. Fernando Collor de Mello defeated Lula as the Workers' Party's 1989 presidential candidate. Lula proceeded to run for president on his party's behalf in the elections of 1994 and 1998, coming in second place to Fernando Henrique Cardoso both times.
Bolsa Familia and Fome Zero are two expansive social projects Lula initiated while in government with the intention of eradicating poverty and elevating the status of the nation's working class.
Ahead of a two-round presidential election in October, polls indicate that Jair Bolsonaro, the far-right incumbent in Brazil, is trailing Lula.
"We will have to rebuild this country, with construction based on a sound foundation," Lula said at a ceremony in Sao Paulo when he unveiled a 121-point plan to "bring Brazil back on track."
According to polls, Lula has a 48 percent advantage against Bolsonaro in the first round of voting.
According to Lula's program, the improvement of "the living conditions of the vast majority of Brazil's population" including addressing hunger and a reduction in buying power, would be the government's top priority.
According to Lula, who accused Bolsonaro of having "abandoned" the fight against increasing prices, battling inflation, which hit 11.73 percent year-over-year in May, is also at the top of his agenda.
After serving as president from 2003 to 2010, Lula, who is running for a third term, stated that it was "imperative to safeguard the Amazon" and reject Bolsonaro's "program of destruction."
"We will fight environmental crimes ... and we will ensure protection of the rights and territories of Indigenous people against the advance of predatory activities," such as illegal gold mining and logging, he said.
After taking office as president in 2003 for eight years, Lula was eventually found guilty of corruption, and imprisoned, and the verdict was later overturned last year.