Sunday, July 14, 2024

LATIN AMERICA | 19-05-2022 12:57

Brazil's Lula ties the knot months before presidential election

Former Brazil president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, the front-runner in the October elections, married fellow Workers' Party member and sociologist Rosangela da Silva on Wednesday.

Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, the front-runner in Brazil's October presidential elections, took a break from campaigning Wednesday to marry his fiancee and fellow Workers' Party (PT) member, sociologist Rosangela da Silva.

The former president posted a photo on Instagram Wednesday night in which he appears to be saying his vows to Da Silva while placing a wedding ring on her finger.

Lula, 76, and Da Silva, 55, tied the knot in an evening ceremony in the upscale Brooklin neighbourhood of São Paulo.

Closed to the press, the event was attended by about 200 guests, including family members, politicians and artists, who only found out about the location the day before.

Upon entering the party, they were instructed to leave their mobile phones in the coatroom, according to local media.

Before the event, rumours about the festivities, budget and menu swirled online, with supporters of far-right incumbent Jair Bolsonaro painting the allegedly lavish party as evidence in support of the corruption charges that have long dogged the leftist ex-president.

Seen arriving at the party were former president Dilma Rousseff, former São Paulo governor and Lula's vice-presidential candidate Geraldo Alckmin, and singer Gilberto Gil, among others.

Looking considerably greyer than during his 2003-2010 presidency, Lula has presented his relationship with 'Janja' — his fiancee's nickname — as evidence he still has the youthful energy to lead Latin America's biggest economy.

Pictures of the couple kissing and cuddling regularly go viral on social media, and one of him in a Speedo-style swimsuit embracing her with a giant grin became a topic of national conversation when Da Silva posted it online in August.

"I'm in love as if I were 20 years old," Lula told Time magazine recently. "A guy as happy as I am doesn't have to rage — let your opponents do what they want... If I can, on the campaign, I will speak only about love. I don't think it's possible to be a good president if you only feel hate inside you."

This is Lula's third marriage. His first wife died in 1971, two years after they married.

Marisa Leticia, his second wife, was Brazil's first lady during his two terms. They had four children together and were married for 43 years, until she died of a heart attack in 2017.


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