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Former President Lula Wants to Interfere More in Rousseff's Administration and Says He Will Be Candidate in 2018

10/29/2014 - 09h57

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NATUZA NERY
ANDRÉIA SADI
FROM BRASÍLIA

Former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva will try to participate more often in Dilma Rousseff's administration.

He recently unveiled to his allies he will be candidate for the presidency in 2018.

Several people consulted by Folha confirmed having heard his message. Some even claim the announcement was made on Sunday (26) after the polls confirmed Rousseff's victory.

Internally, the Workers' Party already treats his candidacy as official. Lula will be 73 years old in 2018, so his allies believe that some variables could make him change his mind in the future.

The former President himself has told colleagues he doesn't know if he will be in good health. After leaving the Presidency in 2011, he was cured of a throat cancer.

In an official statement he said: "Last Sunday (26), on election day, when asked about 2018, I said I'll be 69 soon; my only expectation in four years' time is to be alive."

With an eye on future succession, allies claim the former President needs to act more effectively to prevent Rousseff from repeating the same mistakes she made in the first term.

Dissociation from social movements, weak dialogue with the private sector and excess of centralization are among them.

During the first four years, the Workers' Party advised the President, but it was little heard. Now, the party must reverse the consequences to prepare his candidacy. They believe that if Rousseff's administration is unpopular, starting in January, their plans may be frustrated.

Two examples of suggestions ignored by Rousseff in the past: the replacement of the Finance Minister Guido Mantega to give the market a jolt of confidence and the substitution of the Secretary of the Treasury Arno Augustin, whose opinion reflects the negative image the economic team has when it comes to taxes.

In the current term, Lula wants to be heard frequently during crisis situations and whenever she struggles with Congress.

During the campaign, Rousseff said she would support Lula if he wanted to come back.

At the beginning of the runoff, they were said to be distant from each other. Lula only decided to join the campaign in the final stretch of the election.

According to allies, their relationship is likely to change now. Rousseff reportedly said she is aware that Lula will make public complaints if not heard.

The former President's will to run for the presidency in 2018 is strongly supported by his wife Marisa Letícia.

The group that called for Lula's return to the 2014 presidential race was powerful in the first semester of 2013, but it eventually drowned out in the Workers' Party national meeting in May.

Its main supporters were businessmen, unhappy with Rousseff's style, and a group that lost space in the current administration.

The Party is also believed to push the President. They want to participate in the decision making whenever she must appoint representatives to posts in her government, specially the new Finance Minister. They also expect to be involved in propositions such as the political reform.

Rousseff declared in an interview this Tuesday (28) that "if Lula desires, I will support him".

Translated by JULIANA CALDERARI

Read the article in the original language

Ricardo Stuckert / Instituto Lula
Former President Lula da Silva celebrates his 69th birthday
Former President Lula da Silva celebrates his 69th birthday

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