Cheers erupted outside of a Brazilian prison Friday when the country's former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva walked free, after a year and a half behind bars.
"Lula is an old-school union and political organizer who is going to take his time placing PT and other allies into positions to take advantage of Bolsonaro's weaknesses in the coming years", he said.
In addition to promising to root out corruption and curb violence, Bolsonaro ran a strong campaign on anti-Workers Party sentiment.
Federal police have to comply with Friday's order "with urgency", the order said.
"If we work hard, in 2022 the so-called left that Bolsonaro is so afraid of will defeat the ultra-right", he said.
Gleisi Hoffman, the leader of Lula's Worker's Party, called Thursday's development "a very important step to strengthen democracy and the constitution at a time when they are under threat from an extreme-right government".
A charismatic speaker and formidable campaigner, Lula is ineligible under Brazil's Clean Record law to seek elected office until 2025.
Though Lula's release could galvanize the left and stir up an already heated political environment, it would have small repercussions on Brazil's economic reforms, according to consultancy Eurasia.
While Bolsonaro did not mention Lula by name, his left-wing rival took direct aim at the president.
He was imprisoned in 2018 after being found guilty of receiving bribes from construction companies in return for public contracts.
He has denied any wrongdoing in both cases and accuses Car Wash prosecutors and then-judge Sergio Moro, now Justice Minister, of political persecution. The nation's Supreme Court docket resolved by six votes to five on Thursday that a particular person can exclusively be jailed in spite of everything appeals to superior courts have been exhausted.
"What we are asking for is the immediate issuance of the release permit, because there is no legal backing to keep former President Lula for even an hour", he said in Curitiba, where Lula is now imprisoned.
Reveling in the adoration of his followers at the metalworkers' union he once led, Lula attacked his arch-nemesis President Jair Bolsonaro, who hours earlier had called him a "scoundrel", and those who jailed him a year ago for corruption.
"Since the 2018 election, the left-wing opposition in Congress does not have enough votes to block the agenda", said Leonardo Barreto, a partner at the Capital Politico consultancy.
'They have to know that they did not stop Lula, they tried to kill an idea; but an idea cannot be killed, ' Lula said right after his release, adding he wants to prove that if there was a mafia in Brazil, it is made up of those members of the so-called Operation Lava Jato.