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Tuesday, 29 October, 2002, 20:12 GMT
Lula kicks off Brazil transition
Market traders on Tuesday
Lula has tried to reassure the markets
Brazil's president-elect, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, and outgoing president Fernando Henrique Cardoso have launched the transition process with a meeting on Tuesday.


Everyone is waiting to see who the people will be... that's the main announcement and from there on starts the Lula government

Andre Caminada, equity portfolio manager
Lula, as he is known in Brazil, is expected to announce his transition team this week - a move eagerly awaited by the financial markets.

He is already reported to have said it will be an "eminently technical" team - including people from outside his Workers Party (PT) - an announcement likely to please investors.

Since his election victory in Sunday's run-off, Lula has strived to calm market fears, insisting he will respect Brazil's financial commitments.

In his first formal speech as president-elect, he pledged fiscal responsibility and said his priority would be to combat hunger.

Outside technocrats

In talks with President Cardoso on Tuesday, Lula is reported to have discussed among other issues the economic crisis which has affected Latin America's largest economy for months.

Lula shows the transition agenda
Lula discussed the transition agenda with the outgoing president

A number of key Lula aides joined the meeting at a later stage, including the PT's Antonio Palocci who has been charged with co-ordinating the transition team.

The team will have no decision-making powers, but is expected to be closely involved in preparations for next month's talks with the International Monetary Fund, as well as the planning of next year's budget.

Analysts have said Lula will have to act quickly to calm market fears - one good signal, they say, would be to name a team of technocrats to manage economic policy.

"Everyone is waiting to see who the people will be... That's the main announcement and from there on starts the Lula government," said Andre Caminada, an equity portfolio manager quoted by the French news agency, AFP.

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Click here to see what voters are saying

Lula has insisted he his government will not be composed exclusively of PT members.

"We will talk to a lot of people, because there is a lot to do for Brazil," he said on Monday night.

Social reform

Lula is due to be inaugurated on 1 January, when he will officially become Brazil's first left-wing president in more than 40 years.

Lula supporters
Lula obtained 61% of the vote

In a country where 60% of the population live on or near the poverty line, correspondents say many people voted for Lula in the hope of a better life.

And as president-elect he has repeated campaign promises to bring about social reform and combat hunger.

Announcing the creation of a poverty secretariat, the newly-elected president said he would have fulfilled his mission in life if, by the end of his term, each Brazilian would be able to have at least three proper meals a day.

But, he said, "the changes that we all hope for will come without surprises and without shocks".

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's Tom Gibb
"He'll continue the current economic austerity"

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28 Oct 02 | Business
26 Oct 02 | Media reports
24 Oct 02 | Business
29 Oct 02 | Media reports
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