Luiz Inacio “Lula” da Silva,
Brazilian politician, became the country's first working-class president in January. As leader of Brazil's only socialist party, the Workers' Party, Lula pledged to increase social services and improve the lot of the poor. His first major legislative success came in July when his plan to reform the country's debt-ridden pension system—which operates under an annual $20 billion deficit—was approved. Civil servants and union members—his core supporters—took to the streets to protest the reforms. But polls in August demonstrated that the majority of Brazilians continued to support Lula's tough economic reform efforts.