Brazil presidential race: Lula barred from running for office

Brazil presidential race: Lula barred from running for office

A majority of justices on Brazil's electoral court have voted to bar ex-President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva from running in October's presidential election, virtually ending his candidacy. "The party stressed, 'We are going to defend Lula in the streets, along with the people, because he is the candidate of hope". "We will present all appeals before the courts for the recognition of the rights of Lula provided by law and worldwide treaties ratified by Brazil", the party said in a statement.

Shortly thereafter, the former president's Workers' Party (PT) vowed to "fight with all means" to secure candidacy for the leftist icon.

Rio de Janeiro (AFP) - After a top Brazilian court disqualified ex-president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva from participating in October elections, his party on Saturday was mulling whether to persist with their jailed leader or turn to his running mate. The law preventing Lula from running because of his corruption charges is clear, he argued.

"We are not deciding at any level, on the former president's culpability, and much less his political legacy", said Judge Luis Roberto Barroso, who brought the case to the electoral tribunal for deliberation. Though the decision was expected, Lula's lawyers have said that they would appeal in the Supreme Court.

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"There is no margin here for the electoral court to make any other evaluation but the one showing there is a conviction, and that conviction matters in the candidate's eligibility", Barroso said.

With da Silva out of the race, former Sao Paulo Mayor Fernando Haddad was expected to take his place on the Workers' Party ticket.

Lula's social media followers remain upbeat, though.

Lula, who left the presidency with a record approval rating of 87 per cent, consolidated support for his candidacy in the aftermath of his arrest.

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Lula da Silva has been in prison since he surrendered to federal police in April.

Lula's conviction for money laundering and corruption was upheld in January.

Many see the court decision as a marker in Brazil's fight against endemic corruption.

Lula, Brazil's most popular politician, is serving a 12-year sentence for a corruption conviction. "The best way to protect these efforts is through the strict legality and swift resolution of eventual disputes". The PT manifesto recalled that the UN Human Rights Committee has instructed the Brazilian State to guarantee Lula's political rights, including being a presidential candidate, and Brazil has an obligation to comply, because it signed the Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

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In June, 29 members of the U.S. Congress, including Sen. His closest contender is the far-right former general Jair Bolsonaro on 19 percent.

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