(Bloomberg) – Brazilian presidential runner-up Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva is getting married in a move that will probably help him revive his image to further his appeal to more conservative voters.
Lula, 76, exchanges vows with sociologist Rosanzella Silver, 56, at a private event in Sao Paulo on Wednesday. They began dating in 2017, but their relationship only came to light two years later, when the widow was behind bars for punishing the former president for corruption that was later overturned by the country’s top court.
Since then, Janja, widely known as a sociologist, has had a strong commitment to Lula’s participation in events. The leftist leader will take on the role of first lady if she is introduced as his girlfriend first and then as his fiance if she wins the country’s highest office for a third term in October. Although such a role in Brazil is subject to less public scrutiny than in the United States, it still helps the president consolidate his image as a family man.
“Lula is trying to communicate with an audience that has more traditional ideas about family,” said Mara Tales, a professor of political science at the Federal University of Minas Gerais.
Lula herself has repeatedly mentioned her marriage which seeks to consolidate that image, recently tweeting that she is “not hooking up with Janza”, but rather marrying him and taking responsibility in the same way she wants to “take charge of Brazil.”
He has used the marriage as an opportunity to show that he has the power to be president again, while allaying investors’ concerns that he could return as an annoying leader after his imprisonment. “Does anyone, 76 years old, who is in love, have time to get angry?” He hugged his fiance at a ceremony in Sao Paulo two weeks ago.
Janza usually plays a cheerleader in public, but behind closed doors he attends meetings with Lula to discuss political issues, according to two members of his campaign who asked not to be named to discuss private matters.
He declined the request for an interview for this story.
Janice is a longtime political activist who has taken a stand on a wide range of issues, including women’s and animal rights, culture and healthy food, said Workers Party President Glacier Hoffman.
“She doesn’t need to be instructed to act in the campaign,” Hoffman said. “She has already done it naturally and legally.”
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