Brazil electoral court to rule Friday on Lula presidential candidacy

Hugh Fox
September 3, 2018

Lula has been sentenced to 12 years in prison for accepting a luxury seaside apartment as a bribe from a construction firm.

Da Silva who once enjoyed wide spread popular support in Brazil had been convicted and incarcerated since April 2018 for receiving bribes.

Lula's Workers' Party is expected to appeal the decision to the Supreme Court and has until September 17 to replace Lula with another candidate or forfeit the ticket.

Brazil's top electoral court on Friday barred jailed former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva from running in this year's presidential because of his corruption conviction.

He said the Workers' Party should replace da Silva in up to 10 days and said he should not appear as a presidential candidate in free airtime that is given to political parties on nationwide TV and radio starting on Saturday.

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His Workers Party chose to pick him as their candidate anyway not minding that he had lot his appeal; they insist he is innocent of all charges.

He said either party would also be able to lodge an appeal with the Supreme Court over the constitutional nature of the electoral court's ruling.

"We will present all appeals before the courts for the recognition of the rights of Lula provided by law and global treaties ratified by Brazil", said the party in a statement.

Justice Edson Fachin disagreed, citing a recent call by a United Nations human rights committee calling for da Silva to be allowed to run while he appeals his conviction. His Workers Party registered him as its presidential candidate for the October 7 vote anyway, saying he is innocent.Lula is likely ineligible for office under Brazil's "Clean Slate" law, which prohibits candidates from running if they have convictions that have been upheld on appeal.

Lula's case was a last-minute addition to the court session.

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Lula was found guilty in July 2017 and then lost a first appeal in January. He left office with a 90% approval rating, after his policies helped to lift millions of Brazilians out of poverty.

Despite the uncertainty over his ability to stand, Lula now leads polls with more than double the share of his nearest challenger, the right-winger Jair Bolsonaro.

Lula reportedly chose Fernando Haddad, former mayor of São Paulo, to run for the PT should he be prevented from doing so.

Supporters of the former Brazilian president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva attend a rally in Curitiba, Brazil, on August 30.

Lula's social media followers remain upbeat, though.

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