Former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio 'Lula' da Silva is "not concerned" by an imminent appeals-court ruling after being convicted in July of corruption and money laundering as part of the massive "Car Wash" investigation.
At a press conference at the Lula Institute, Lula – who continues to lead the polls for next year's presidential elections – told reporters he was unfazed by the ruling's possible outcome, scheduled for January 24, in the southern city of Porto Alegre.
He emphasized that while insufficient proof has been provided to uphold his sentencing by judge Sergio Moro, a number of legal tools remain at his disposal and can be invoked if necesary.
Asked how he would reinvigorate Brazil's economy, the former president said that, in contrast to the line taken during his first two terms in office when he spoke about "distributing income, nowadays we must start talking about wealth distribution."
He also vowed that, if re-elected, he would use the country's international reserves to jumpstart the economy, which would, in turn, incentivize the domestic market.
Lula also reiterated his promise to democratize the media, something he had previously hoped would occur during former Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff's second term in office.
And he offered his thoughts on the overall political environment in Brazil, which has been rocked by a slew of scandals and corruption cases in the ongoing "Car Wash" graft investigation.
His interview coincided with the release of the latest CNI/Ibope survey, which revealed that a mere six percent of the population considers the administration of Senate-imposed President Michel Temer to be "excellent" or "good."
Renato da Fonseca, executive director of CNI's Research and Competitiveness department, said the survey indicates that "the population, in general, still doesn't perceive" any improvement "in the economy."
The poll, which surveyed 2,000 people in 127 municipalities between December 7 and 10, with a margin of error of two percentage points, also showed that 88 percent of respondants reject Temer and 90 percent distrust him.
Over the past few months, polls undertaken by Vox Populi, Datafolha, Data Poder 360, Instituto Parana, the National Confederation of Transportation/MDA and Ipsos have all shown that Lula enjoys a comfortable lead in Brazil's 2018 presidential election.
His term in office was marked by a slew of social programs, which lifted millions of Brazilians out of poverty and removed the country from the UN World Hunger Map.