BRASILIA, Jan. 11 (Xinhua) -- Former Brazilian President, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, confirmed Wednesday that "he is preparing" to run for the presidency in 2018, should it "be necessary."
In his first public speech of the year, the politician said he would be travelling the country in 2017 to restore his image and that of his Workers' Party, "which have been criminalized by the press and the justice system."
Lula, who served as president of Brazil in 2003-2010, made the remarks at an event of the Landless Workers' Movement in the northern city of Salvador de Bahia.
Lula was accompanied by Jaques Wagner, the former chief of staff to impeached President Dilma Rousseff, and the former president of Petrobras, Sergio Gabrielli.
In reference to allegations that his opponents may seek a legal injunction to stop him from running through the courts, Lula said that everybody should be able to run for president.
"If (President Michel) Temer wants to run, excellent. If (Foreign Minister Jose) Serra wants to run, excellent. If (judge Sergio) Moro, excellent ... all those who want to be a candidate have that right, they should join a party and get out on the streets," he said.
Lula also said that the Brazilian economy, which currently plunged into a deep recession, would return to growth through public investments.
According to the former president, Brazil needs an agricultural revolution, including using public banks to finance family agriculture, small businesses and consumers.
"The only way this country will grow is if the state invests. The only way (public) debt will fall against GDP is to make GDP grow," Lula said.