Next week sees the retirement of the man described by Barack Obama as “the most popular politician on earth”. President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva of Brazil, known simply as Lula, steps down after eight years in office, with a stratospheric approval rating of about 80 per cent. As a result, the Brazilian presidential election on October 3 will be a celebration of the past, as much as a signpost to the future. The almost certain winner will be Lula’s hand-picked successor, Dilma Rousseff.
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