The election of Luiz Inácio ‘Lula’ da Silva made for a Red October, and a political comeback for the ages. But, it was a close-run thing, while the second go on the merry-go-round will be far more challenging than the first.
At the fourth time of asking, former trade-union leader Lula was first elected President of Brazil in 2002, and reelected in 2006. Despite initial fears that he may display some of the authoritarian tendencies of Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez, Lula in fact governed successfully from the progressive left, sharing the fruits of economic growth more broadly and lifting 20m Brazilians out of poverty while reducing inflation and government debt. One of his flagship policies, since copied elsewhere, was the conditional cash transfer known as Bolsa Família. This welfare programme channeled cash to poor families on the condition that their children were vaccinated and attended school.Continue reading