Brazil's governing center-left Workers Party will pursue an agenda of "continuity with changes" if - as expected - President Dilma Rousseff wins a second term in the October elections, party chairman Rui Falcao said here Friday.
"We are victims of our own success, because we create the conditions for the populace to want change," Falcao said during the latest installment of the EFE Breakfast discussion series, sponsored by Spanish tech giant Indra.
"The population wants changes with Dilma and not changes against Dilma or without her," he said in response to a question about last summer's nationwide protests demanding improvements in public education, transport and healthcare.
Rousseff's likely rivals in the presidential contest, center-right Sen. Aecio Neves and the socialist governor of Pernambuco state, Eduardo Campos, "are less well-known in the country than President Dilma," Falcao said.
Even so, he added, "they must not be underestimated."
Falcao said his optimism about Brazil's prospects under a second Rousseff administration was based not just on "partisan faith," but on facts.
He reminded the journalists, executives and analysts at Friday's event of comments made by Rousseff's predecessor and mentor, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, during a recent forum in New York, where the former Brazilian president asked rhetorically: "What country was capable of creating 21 million jobs in 10, 12 years?"
Picking up on Lula's theme, Falcao asked "Which country was able to lift 36 million people out of extreme poverty?," touting another of Brazil's accomplishments since the Workers Party took office in 2003.
The party chief then endorsed the notion of a comeback by Lula, now 68, in 2018.
"We have to re-elect Dilma Rousseff so Lula returns in 2018," Falcao said. "The return of Lula would be very good for Brazil."