Workers' Party founder and leader Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva was sworn in Sunday for the third time as President of Brazil during a ceremony held at Brasilia's Congress building which was not attended by the outgoing head of state Jair Bolsonaro.
Lula, 77, arrived in a convertible car with his wife Janja and his running mate Geraldo Alckmin and his wife, Lu Alckmin, 20 minutes ahead of schedule and was welcomed with military honors by Speakers Arthur Lira (Lower House) and Rodrigo Pacheco (Senate).
”We will resume integration starting with Mercosur, with the revitalization of the Union of South American Nations (Unasur) and other sovereign instances,” said Lula after the customary oath of office.
He also pledge to strengthen cooperation with BRICS, the forum the South American country shares with Russia, India, China, and South Africa, in addition to building bridges with Africa and the developing world, without neglecting its relations with the United States or the European Union (EU).
I will rule for 215 million Brazilians and not only for those who voted for me, Lula also said as 300,000 followers took to the streets of Brasilia to celebrate. Lula's new administration has 37 ministries, 11 of which are headed by women. The Workers' Party (PT) kept 10 of the 37 portfolios, while the MDB, Unione Brasil, the Brazilian Socialist Party of Vice-President Geraldo Alckmin (who is also Minister of Development, Industry and Foreign Trade), and the Social Democratic Party (PSD) obtained three each. The Democratic Labor Party, the PSOL, and Rede have one each while the remaining 11 offices are headed by officials with no party affiliation.
Lula insisted the main commitment we made in 2003 was to fight against inequality and extreme poverty and to guarantee every person in this country the right to have breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day, and we fulfilled that commitment. He held two consecutive presidential t2erms between Jan 1, 2003, and Dec. 31, 2010.
The leftwing leader also regretted that 20 years later Brazil returned to a past that we thought was buried, where inequality and extreme poverty are on the rise again and hunger has returned.
Hunger is the daughter of inequality, which is the mother of the great evils that retard Brazil's development. Inequality diminishes our country of continental dimensions, by dividing it into parts that cannot be recognized, he added.
Also attending Sunday's ceremony was former President Dilma Rousseff, also of the Workers' Party (PT), who was impeached in 2016.
The President recalled the Covid-19 pandemic and stressed that in no other country was the number of fatalities so high in proportion to the population, which is why the responsibilities for this genocide must be investigated and must not go unpunished.
Upon taking office, Lula announced he was adopting the first measures so that the Government may once again function in a rational, republican and democratic manner.
The diagnosis we received from the Transition Cabinet is terrible. Health resources have been emptied. They have dismantled education, culture, science, and technology. They destroyed environmental protection. They left no resources for school meals, vaccination, public safety, Lula said about the Bolsonaro administration.
Lula also promised to rescue 33 million people from hunger and rescuing from poverty more than 100 million Brazilians who have borne the heaviest burden of the project of national destruction that is ending today.
He also raised as a primary objective to achieve zero deforestation in the Amazon and zero emission of greenhouse gases in the electricity grid, in addition to stimulating the reuse of degraded pastures. Brazil does not need to deforest to maintain and expand its strategic agricultural frontier, he said.