Former Brazilian president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has said he was returning to politics after being told that his larynx cancer was in “complete remission”.
“I will return to political life because I believe Brazil needs to continue to grow, develop, generate jobs, improve the lives of millions and millions of Brazilians who managed to enter the middle class… as well as those who dream of joining the middle class,” he said in a video message.
Earlier Lula, 66, underwent exams at Sao Paulo’s Sirio-Libanes hospital following weeks of radiation therapy sessions.
Doctors concluded that his cancer, diagnosed last October, was “in complete remission” according to Jose Chrispiniano, a spokesman for a Instituto Lula (Lula’s Citizenry Institute).
“Today, I received the most important piece of news a human being can receive after a five-month treatment against cancer,” Lula said.
“I would like to seize this opportunity to thank God, because without him this would probably not have happened,” he added in the message posted on his foundation’s website.
Lula also thanked his wife Marisa, doctors and staff of Sirio-Lebanes hospital, as well as “the whole of Brazil” and President Dilma Rousseff. He said his successor was: “An inspiration each time we spoke and she told me: ‘Strength, president. You will overcome’.”
Brazil’s first leftist president, a former metal worker and trade union leader, led the country from January 2003 to December 2010 and left office with an 80 percent approval rating after two consecutive terms.
There had been speculation that he might stand again in 2014 if Dilma Rousseff decided not to seek re-election.
His social programmes are credited with helping lift some 29 million Brazilians out of poverty, and his foreign policy helped turn Brazil into a global power player.