Off to a Good Start

Dec 8, 2003

Brazil’s President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva has achieved a lot in his first year in office. His reform agenda next year promises to be as challenging as it has been in 2003.

I wrote in this magazine a year ago, during the tense 2002 presidential elections, that whoever won would face a challenging reform agenda. I wrote that reforms were needed, “To release the immense potential of a hardworking, creative and dynamic society.” 

Another important point I raised last year was that the media had exaggerated the depth and extent of President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva’s leftist convictions. I also mentioned a few challenges. He and his Workers Party (PT) had to overcome the temptation of adopting heterodox, or unconventional, economic policies. Lula also had to negotiate with conservative leaders, the very individuals he had spent much of his political career opposing, to build a political base for his government in Congress.

Both these challenges have been met with flying colors. Lula has built a majority in Congress composed of parties from a variety of ideological...

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