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Lula gives last speech as Brazil's president

12-24-2010 18:52 BJT

Brazil's out-going President, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, has given his last speech on television and radio, as he prepares to step down in a week.

Lula thanked the Brazilian people for their support and asked them to back his successor Dilma Rousseff.

Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, Brazil's out-going President, said, "It is deeply symbolic that the presidential sash is being handed over from the first working-class president to the first female president.I would like to finish with an emphatic request and with profound thanks. I ask you all to support the new president Dilma Rousseff the same way you supported me in every moment. This also means to demand from her at the right moment, like you demanded from me."

Lula will step down on January 1st. He says the upcoming government transition is a show of Brazil's growing equality. After eight years in power,the 65-year-old leader will leave with a popularity rating above 80 percent.

His economic policies have lifted 20 million Brazilians from poverty, and the economy is expected to grow more than 7 percent this year. Dilma Rousseff has promised to continue Lula's policies.



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