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Lula lookalike coasts on his looks on campaign trail

Video by Pierre Ludovic VIOLLAT , Mark Burleigh

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2010-10-01

Luiz da Silva is a Brazilian federal deputy candidate in the election. He also just happens to look and sounds like the outgoing president. And in the streets of Sao Paulo - it's working.

He has the same name, the same look, the same party, even the same gruff voice.

Luiz da Silva, a federal deputy candidate, is riding on Lula's coat-tails. And in the streets of Sao Paulo -- it's working.

“Are you Lula, or his brother?” an incredulous woman comes up to ask him.

“No,” da Silva replies. “I'm just a distant relative."

"Wow, you’re really Lula's double,” she exclaims as she gets a warm bear hug from the jovial candidate.

Da Silva knows he's an attraction. He doesn't have any problem tapping into the outgoing president's huge popularity to pile up his own votes.

"A guy who votes for me because I'm in the same party as the president and because I look like him, he'll be happy with his vote,” he explains. “It's something that's subconscious. A guy wanting to vote for Lula, it's because he just wants the president to stay in power for another term. That's what the people want."

In his truck, the "Lula-mobile" as he calls it, Luiz da Silva drives himself around Sao Paulo, meeting the voters.

There are others like him. At least three other candidates across the country are on the ballots under the name Lula in the general elections. Each hoping those magic four letters will elevate them to public office.


Date created : 2010-09-30


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