|Lula's campaign pledges to "join democrats of all political positions, classes, races and religious beliefs". (Photo from Getty Images)|
[Asia News = Reporter Reakkana] Former Brazilian leader Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva has launched his campaign for October's presidential election. At a rally, the left-winger called on Brazilians to support him in defending the country's democracy from the far-right President Jair Bolsonaro. Lula led the country for eight years from 2003, but was later convicted of corruption and jailed before having the judgment overturned last year, BBC reported.
The rally was called a "pre-launch" as official campaigning begins in August. Lula's campaign pledges to "join democrats of all political positions, classes, races and religious beliefs". The 76-year-old told supporters that the current situation in the country "forces us to overcome our differences and build an alternative path to the incompetence and authoritarianism that governs us". "I'm jumping back into the fight," he told a cheering crowd in São Paulo on Saturday. Lula, who governed Brazil between 2003 and 2010, is a towering figure in left-wing politics in Brazil and beyond. His government helped lift tens of millions of people from poverty.
But in 2018 he was the most senior politician to be convicted as part of an investigation into a huge bribery scandal, known as "Operation Car Wash". After his conviction and 12-year jail sentence, Lula Lula was banned from the presidential race in 2018. But last year, a Supreme Court judge annulled his corruption convictions.