June 1, 2012 / 3:38 AM / in 6 years

Brazil's ex-president Lula says he may run again

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - Brazil’s ex-president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva said on Thursday he may run for president again in 2014 if he is needed to prevent the victory of the party that governed before his two-term 2003-2011 presidency.

“The only situation under which I’d be a candidate again is if she (current President Dilma Rousseff) doesn’t want the job,” Lula said on the O Ratinho, or “the Rat” TV show on the country’s SBT network. “I will not permit a member of the PSDB to become president of Brasil again.”

Lula, a former metalworker and union leader, was elected president in 2002 and took over the presidency from Fernando Henrique Cardoso on January 1, 2003. Cardoso is a member of the center-left Brazilian Social Democracy Party, or PSDB.

The interview on SBT, Lula said, was the first he’s given since he left office 17 months ago.

Rousseff, a member of Lula’s Workers’ Party and his hand-picked successor, has been in office since January 1, 2011. She is Brazil’s first female president.

Lula ran for president three times and lost, twice to Cardoso, before winning the 2002 elections. After serving two consecutive four-year terms, he stepped down on December 31, 2010.

Brazil’s Constitution limits presidents to two consecutive four-year terms. After sitting out at least one term, a former two-term president can run for and become president again.

Reporting by Jeb Blount and Bruno Marfinati; writing by Jeb Blount; editing by Todd Eastham

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