Brazil`s ex-president Lula to become chief of staff: Lawmaker

Brazil`s former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva will become chief of staff to his embattled successor Dilma Rousseff, a lawmaker in their party said Wednesday as both fight for their political survival.

AFP| Last Updated: Mar 16, 2016, 22:07 PM IST

Brasilia: Brazil`s former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva will become chief of staff to his embattled successor Dilma Rousseff, a lawmaker in their party said Wednesday as both fight for their political survival.

Rousseff`s office did not immediately confirm the information, which came in a tweet from Jose Guimaraes, congressional leader for the ruling Workers` Party.

Guimaraes said Lula, Rousseff`s political mentor, would take over from Jaques Wagner, a former governor who currently holds the post.

Rousseff held a second round of talks with Lula early Wednesday on the prospect of joining her government, after meeting with him for four hours the day before.

Top Rousseff allies have said the president needs Lula`s political prowess and popularity with their left-wing base to fight off an impeachment bid and the potential splintering of her coalition.

Opponents, however, see the move as an attempt to protect Lula from arrest after he was charged in a massive corruption investigation centered on state oil company Petrobras.

Lula (2003-2011) led Brazil through an economic boom and stepped down as a hero to the left after rolling out social programs that helped lift tens of millions of people from poverty.

But five years after helping Rousseff succeed him as president, both their fortunes have turned.

He faces charges of accepting a luxury apartment as a bribe from a company implicated in the Petrobras scandal, and she is struggling to deal with a deep recession, mass protests and attempts by her foes in Congress to impeach her.