His candidacy for the presidency had been anticipated. Lula himself was not present at the party’s nominating convention in Sao Paulo, as he was campaigning in the state of Pernambuco.
This will be his sixth presidential run with PT, having served as president from 2003 to 2010.
In a series of tweets, Lula, 76, laid out his vision for the future, promising to “rebuild Brazil”.
He added: “I didn’t need to be president again. I could keep my title as the best president in history and live the last years of my life in peace. But I saw this country destroyed. I saw education run by a guy who didn’t like education, so I decided to go back.
The 2022 race is the latest twist in Lula’s remarkable story as one of Brazil’s most charismatic politicians, one who only learned to read at the age of 10 and left school after fifth grade to work full time.
It took three unsuccessful presidential bids before da Silva won the 2002 presidential run-off with 61.3% of the vote.
Re-elected in 2006, he finally left office in January 2011 with a 90% approval rating after millions of Brazilians were lifted out of poverty during his tenure. However, his good fortune did not last long.
After surviving throat cancer in 2011, da Silva was convicted of bribery and money laundering in 2017, charges stemming from a wide-ranging investigation into state oil company Petrobras.
His legal troubles rumbled until April 2018, when he turned himself in to federal authorities and began serving a 12-year prison sentence. However, in March 2021, a court overturned his conviction, paving the way for his political rebound.
The latest polls now show Lula leading the presidential race with 46% of the vote, compared to Bolsonaro’s 29%, according to information from CNN Brazil.
Reporting provided by CNN’s Jack Guy, Isa Soares and Madalena Araujo.