Brazil’s ex-president Lula in dates

Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva was first elected president of Brazil in 2002 after three previous failed attempts, and was reelected four years later

Sao Paulo (AFP) – Here are key dates in the life of Brazil’s ex-president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, best known as Lula, who is appealing a conviction and prison sentence on corruption charges.

The Supreme Court rules Wednesday whether he should start serving a 12-year sentence or can remain free while pursuing appeals and another bid for the presidency at polls in October.

– October 27, 1945: Lula is born to a poor farming family in the Brazil’s northeast. His family moves when he is seven to the state of Sao Paulo to escape hunger.

– 1975: He becomes president of the metal workers’ union, a sector in which he has worked since the age of 14.

– 1978-80: At the height of the military dictatorship, Lula leads major strikes in the industrial suburbs and is jailed for a month for his role.

– 1980: Lula co-founds the leftist Workers’ Party (PT) and goes on to take part in the creation, in 1983, of the Unified Workers’ Central (CUT), which becomes Brazil’s largest trade union federation.

– 1986: He is elected to Congress.

– 2003: Becomes Brazil’s first leftist president, having won an election the previous year. He is re-elected in 2006 for a term ending in 2010.

– 2016: The Supreme Court blocks his appointment as chief of staff to president Dilma Rousseff, his handpicked successor. She is impeached in August after allegations of financial wrongdoing.

– July 2017: Lula is found guilty of receiving a bribe from a Brazilian construction company in return for contracts with state oil giant Petrobras. He is sentenced to 9.5 years behind bars.

– January 2018: He loses an appeal and his sentence is increased to 12 years and one month.