Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva Fast Facts On Brazil’s Most Important President
In the world of Brazilian politics, it is not always easy to choose which leader is the best. For much of the past 40 years, the country has been run by one leader after another, with few instances of the two major candidates having an equal chance. When the country elected the first non-laboratorial president, Lula da Silva, back in 1992, he became Brazil’s most iconic politician. But his rule turned out to be a failure: the economy shrank, the middle class was squeezed, and the country had to endure a long period of deep recession, dubbed the “lost decade” of Lula. The current president is the younger Lula, who turned the economy around quickly and led the country to prosperity. As one of the country’s most popular elected officials, he has enjoyed huge support from the population. For years to come, his policies will determine the course of the country, which in turn will determine the course of the entire world.
João Goulart, the first democratically-elected president, died in office in 1964. In 1970, his running mate, Fernando Collor de Mello, came from the military to take power and was forced into exile. Twenty years later, Brazil’s voters elected a civilian president, Eduardo Da Silva, who stayed on until 1992 when he was defeated by Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. “Brazil’s presidential contest was the first direct electoral contest in the Americas,” wrote the Washington Post. “The election system allowed voters to cast ballots for three candidates running against one another for the presidency and vice president.” The candidates, who had never come close to each other on the electoral ladder, each had a clear idea of what they wanted for the country. “For Lula [it was] a chance to return to power from a military dictatorship,” wrote the New York Times.
Lula da Silva became the new president in May 1994. At the beginning of his first term, Lula was a relative unknown. But he had the backing of the powerful trade unions and other important political parties, and the media. With a solid base of support, the president quickly managed to transform Brazil’s economy from one of the world’s most