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Updated October 31st, 2022 at 14:39 IST

Who is Lula da Silva? All you need to know about Brazil's new president

Luis Inacio Lula da Silva made his big presidential comeback on Sunday, when he defeated incumbent Jair Bolsonaro to become the next president of Brazil.

Deeksha Sharma
Lula da Silva
Image: AP | Image:self
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Veteran politician Luis Inacio Lula da Silva made his big presidential comeback on Sunday, when he defeated incumbent Jair Bolsonaro to become Brazil’s next president, BBC reported. Luiz Inácio da Silva, who is popularly known as Lula in the South American country, is the founding member of the leftist Worker’s Party. The 77-year-old previously served as Brazil’s 35th president and held the top post between 2003 and 2010.  

Lula navigated his way to politics after being involved in union leader activities. He was born on October 27, 1945, to Aristides Inácio da Silva and Eurídice Ferreira de Melo in the Brazilian municipality of Caetés. During childhood, he did not receive much formal education, and only learned to read at the age of 10. After dropping out of school in the second grade to financially help his family, Lula began working as a street vendor and shoe shiner at the age of 12. Two years later, he worked as an employee at a warehouse, where he lost his finger in an accident.

However, it was the injury that made him familiar with the workers’ union, and kick started his career in union activities. Lula then joined the labour movement, and gradually climbed his way up the ranks to become the president of the Steel Workers' Union of the cities of São Bernardo do Campo and Diadema in 1975 and 1978. 

Lula's early beginnings

On February 10, 1980, Lula, along with a few others, founded Brazil’s Workers’ Party, a left-wing political party that rose in the midst of the rule of Brazil’s military government. While he first ran for office in 1982, it was only in the 1986 elections that he secured a seat in Congress with a large majority. However, the veteran politician’s presidential epoch began in 2003, and continued all the way through 2010. 

On the familial front, Lula has been married thrice. He lost his first wife Maria de Lourdes due to hepatitis in 1971 after two years of being married to her. In 1974, he tied the knot with Marisa Letícia Rocco Casa, to who he was married for 43 years until her death by a stroke in 2017. In 2022, Lula married his third wife Rosângela da Silva, who he met in prison while serving time for bribery charges that were later dropped. 

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Published October 31st, 2022 at 14:39 IST

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