Former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has called on his Workers' Party (PT) to create a group capable of solving the country's housing problem.
His comments were made during a prison visit by PT President Gleisi Hoffman and former Bahia Governor Jacques Wagner on Wednesday, after 49 people were listed missing when a 24-story building occupied by squatters in central Sao Paulo was engulfed in fire and collapsed.
Leaving federal police headquarters in Curitiba, where Lula has been detained on corruption charges since April 7, Hoffman said the former head of state requested the PT politicians develop a special group tasked with finding solutions to the lack of public housing.
"He remains determined to withstand all to offer solutions for the country," Hoffman said, noting that he is "paying close attention to details that comprise the base of his government plan."
Meanwhile, Wagner asked: "Where are the other candidates? The hope of Brazilian people are here... The country's hope and prosperity are here, on the fourth floor of the federal police building.
"We're going to stick with Lula until the end of our line. Personally, I don't consider any alternative unless its this march to prove his innocence."
Apart from Lula's family members and legal team, Hoffman and Wagner were the first people to visit him in prison.
Despite his imprisonment for corruption, events that many legal experts and observers attribute to lawfare and a salacious mainstream media campaign, Lula has topped every 2018 electoral poll conducted by Vox Populi, Ibope, Datafolha, Data Poder 360, Instituto Parana, the National Confederation of Transportation/MDA and Ipsos.
Lula's two terms in office were marked by a slew of social programs, lifting millions of Brazilians out of poverty and removing the country from the United Nations World Hunger Map. He left office with a record approval rating of 83 percent in 2011, according to Datafolha.