Lula da Silva barred from running for Brazil's presidency

03 September, 2018, 20:57 | Author: Donnie King
  • 'Most popular politician on earth' barred from running for president

Brazil's top electoral court has barred former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva from running for reelection because of a corruption conviction, just weeks before Brazilians go to the polls for a vote in which he was considered a frontrunner despite being in prison.

A supporter of Brazil's Former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, sports a T-shirt with da Silva's image on it during a protest in front of the Superior Electoral Tribunal, as the trial against the candidacy of the jailed former president continues, in Brasilia, Brazil, Friday, Aug. 31, 2018.

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.

While casting the final vote to nail the coffin on Da Silva's Presidential ambition, Supreme Court Justice Luis Roberto Barroso said the law was simple and clear; it forbids candidates whose conviction has been upheld on appeal from contesting for public office in Brazil.

If Haddad is named as the PT's candidate, Manuela D'Avila of Brazil's Communist Party will assume the running-mate position, according to a previous agreement between the parties. Lula had been the Workers' Party nominee for the presidential elections set for October.

"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", the party said in a statement.




Da Silva has long argued that he should be allowed to run because his conviction was a sham. "It is a political annulment, based on lies and arbitrariness, as done in times of the dictatorship, ' said the text, adding that all recourses will be submitted to the courts so that Lula's political rights can be recognized, as established by law and worldwide treaties ratified by Brazil. We will defend Lula in the streets, with the people".

The ruling by a 4-1 majority of the seven-member court removes some doubt about Brazil's most uncertain election in decades - though Lula's lawyers have said they would appeal any adverse decision to the Supreme Court.

An appeal in January not only saw the court uphold his original conviction, but also increase the length of the sentence by two-and-a-half years.

He vehemently denies the accusations and has dismissed the charges as a political plot aimed at preventing him from standing in the elections.

The former firebrand union leader led Brazil during a booming period from 2003 and 2010, promoting social policies that pulled millions from poverty. "Fernando Haddad, former mayor of Sao Paulo", he said. His nearest rival, far-right candidate Jair Bolsonaro, has 19 percent.

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