RIO DE JANEIRO Ė Brazilís presidential candidates agreed on Friday on the need to combat corruption and unemployment, change the political system and put an end to privileges during the second televised debate, which was marked by the absence of former President Luiz Inacio da Silva.
The former president, popularly known as Lula, who is leading the voting intention polls with 30 percent, could not take part in the debate as he has been serving a 12-year prison sentence for corruption since April 7.
However, despite that he was announced this week as the presidential candidate for the Workersí Party for elections on Oct. 7.
During the debate, the candidates had referred indirectly to Lula and the corruption in the government of his political goddaughter Dilma Rousseff.
Alvaro Dias of the Podemos Party was, however, more direct in his attack and said Lulaís candidacy was shameful, while far-right politician Jair Bolsonaro, who leads the poll behind Lula, called him a crook and said he should not be allowed to contest.
The candidates also proposed solutions to address the rising unemployment in the country, blaming it on the governments of Lula and Rousseff.
Geraldo Alckmin, of the Brazilian Social Democracy Party, proposed reducing the size of the state and prioritizing investments to generate employment, while Marina Silva of the Sustainability Party, advocated environmental projects such as ecological tourism to create more jobs.
Alvaro Dias proposed a tax reform that would allow companies to generate more jobs.
Former Finance Minister Henrique Meirelles, of the Brazilian Democratic Movement party, said tackling unemployment would be key to the countryís future growth.