Brazil’s Lula reveals social and green campaign priorities

SAO PAULO: Former Brazilian leftist leader Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who is leading the presidential electoral race, announced on Tuesday (June 21) that his priorities in power would be social policies and the protection of the Amazon.

Polls show Brazil’s far-right incumbent Jair Bolsonaro trailing Lula ahead of a two-round presidential election in October.

“We will have to rebuild this country, with construction based on a solid foundation,” Lula said during a ceremony in Sao Paulo as he presented a 121-point program to “get Brazil back on track.”

Polls show that Lula is the favorite to win the first round with 48 percent to Bolsonaro’s 27 percent.

According to Lula’s program, his government’s first priority would be to improve “the living conditions of the vast majority of the population of Brazil,” including fighting hunger and declining purchasing power.

Fighting inflation, which reached 11.73% year-on-year in May, is also a priority on his agenda, said Lula, who accused Bolsonaro of having “abandoned” the battle against rising prices.

Lula, who is seeking a third term after being president from 2003 to 2010, added that it was “imperative to defend the Amazon” and oppose Bolsonaro’s “policy of destruction.”

“We will combat environmental crimes… and ensure the protection of the rights and territories of indigenous peoples against the advance of predatory activities” such as illegal gold mining and logging, he said.

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