SAO PAULO – Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, the former Brazilian president under investigation in a sweeping corruption investigation, said on Friday that Latin America’s largest economy needs to resume growth rapidly to avert job losses.
In a speech at a Sao Paulo rally organized by the ruling Workers’ Party and unions in support of President Dilma Rousseff, Lula said democracy is the only way to ensure diversity and growth in Brazil.
Supporters of Rousseff and Lula joined street rallies on Friday to back her beleaguered government, while Rousseff’s opponents in Congress started the clock ticking on impeachment proceedings. Chanting along with thousands of government supporters in Sao Paulo, Lula vowed that Rousseff will not be ousted.
Rousseff’s appointment of Lula this week as her chief of staff has triggered protests across Brazil. Opponents say his nomination was designed to help Lula evade prosecutors who have charged him with money laundering and fraud in a corruption probe known as “Operation Car Wash.”