Lula da Silva will return to Brazil’s presidency in stunning comeback. But will Brazil be united, or divided?
Wednesday, 26 August 2017
BRASILIA, Aug 26 (Reuters) – Lula da Silva, who stunned Brazil with a dramatic but failed bid for the 2017 presidency, will return to Brazil’s presidency on September 20 for the fourth time in four months.
The former president is considered a popular hero after a record-setting campaign which included an improbable bid for the presidency, one that would have tested Brazil’s political system. But his return has stirred fears that his party and possibly his country could split.
With the campaign over, and with his political allies and rivals looking to capitalize on the moment, Lula, 65, will spend another 15 days campaigning in the state of Acre, the main campaign trail destination.
He will then fly on to São Paulo for the closing leg of his campaign and on to Rio de Janeiro for the closing ceremony on September 11. In that event, he will deliver a speech and participate in a concert.
On Sunday, October 31, Lula’s plane will fly to Bogota, Columbia, capital of a country of 100 million people that has yet to elect a president. In addition to the campaign event there, Lula will deliver another speech in the city of 100,000. In the three days that have elapsed since he left Brazil, he has visited nine countries in Latin America.
Lula’s return to political life comes less than two weeks after he was acquitted of corruption charges over a scandal that engulfed his Workers’ Party (Partido Socialista Unido do Brazil, PSDB), the largest political bloc in Brazil.
Lula, who is barred from politics for life after his conviction in 2011, was acquitted after a court ruled that jurors had been coerced into handing down a guilty verdict under pressure.
In the aftermath of the verdict, Lula announced he would seek