After his landslide victory in Brazil’s elections, President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva now faces two important challenges: boosting economic growth, while still favouring the poor.
He has won his second term, despite the political sleeze of the first, thanks to the support of millions of voters, who rewarded him for easing their poverty. And now they say its payback time.
“I’m happy,” one man in a bar in Sao Paulo said. . “It was the people who voted for him, so he would repay their loyalty,” a woman said.
But not everyone is optimistic. “I don’t understand how, even with all the corruption scandals, the Brazilians have once again voted for him,” another man said.
Lula has a strong electoral mandate and analysts say he will need it to deliver on his pledges. In his victory speech, he vowed to propel Brazil to a level of development placing it among the developed countries.
And Lula dedicated his administration to reducing poverty.
“We will continue to govern Brazil for everyone,” President da Silva said, “but we will continue to give the most attention to those who need it most. The poor will have preference in our government.”
But analysts say the government needs to cut expenditure, and invest less in the economy, after spending big last year.
Lula has more political assets this time – the support of many governors in Brazil’s 27 States.
And he has also promised to work for the consensus he needs in Congress to pass crucial laws.