The Workers' Party of Brazil commenced its 6th National Congress Thursday, which is expected to officially nominate former President Luis Inacio Lula da Silva as its presidential candidate for the 2018 general election.
The congress, which will go on until Saturday, opened with calls for free, democratic elections. A slideshow featuring images of the late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, Che Guevara, and other revolutionaries, accompanied those calls.
Party affiliates, numbering more than 1,000 during the congress opening, reiterated their unity in the face of a government plagued by seemingly endless scandals and corruption.
During the congress, party members will discuss strategies to overcome the dangers to democracy presented by current selected president Michel Temer and his administration.
“I have my candidate. My candidate is Lula!” said Dilma Rousseff, former Brazilian president who was ousted due to what many describe as a parliamentary coup.
Key architects of her removal such as Eduardo Cunha, former speaker of Brazil's lower house of representatives; Aecio Neves, former congressman, and Temer himself have been denounced for receiving bribes, approving bribes, their involvement in a slew of corruption scandals, and other crimes.
"Opening of PT's 6th Congress: "Only direct elections can return democracy back to the people."
Lula also spoke at the opening of the congress. “They want to convict me for everything that I'm proud to have done,” adding, “I've already proven my innocence.” Brazil's former, most popular president concluded by saying, “The time has come to end the foolishness. This country can't take any more destruction.”
Luciano Santos, president of the Communist Party of Brazil, repeated his support for the coalition uniting his party and the PT, Rural Landless Worker's Movement, Central Worker's Union, and Brazil's Popular Front.