Brazil electoral court bars Lula from presidential race

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

Lula, 72, has been sentenced to 12 years in prison for accepting a luxury seaside apartment as a bribe from a construction firm.

The judges from the Supreme Electoral Court on Friday ruled six to one against the once highly popular leader who was leading in the polls running in the upcoming elections, Efe news reported. Lula was arrested in April after Brazil's Supreme Court rejected his plea to stay out of jail while appealing the corruption case in a bid to recapture the presidency.

The Workers' Party said in a statement: "We will present all the appeals to the courts so that the political rights of Lula, as provided by law and in global treaties ratified by Brazil, are recognized".

"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" to run, said Barroso.

If Lula is barred, his running mate Fernando Haddad, a former mayor of Sao Paulo, will head the ticket hoping to inherit the bulk of Lula's votes. Former US president Barack Obama once called him the "most popular politician on earth". Under Brazilian law, he is ineligible to run because his conviction was upheld on an initial appeal.

He relied on Lula's recent backing from the UN Human Rights Committee, which ruled that the former leader can not be disqualified from the elections as his legal appeals are ongoing.

Currently Haddad is candidate for vice president.

Universally known as Lula, Lula da Silva is a founding member of Brazil's only socialist political party, Partido dos Trabalhadores (PT), the Workers' Party. Finally, the PT stressed that Lula's candidacy is the response from the Brazilian people to those who usurped power (through the parliamentary-judicial coup perpetrated in 2016 against Constitutional President Dilma Roussef).

In the latest opinion polls, Lula was awarded 39 percent of voting intentions - 20 points ahead of his closest competitor, far-right former military officer Jair Bolsonaro.

Brazil's President of the Superior Electoral Court Rosa Weber smiles during a the trial against the candidacy of jailed former president da Luis Inacio Lula da Silva, in Brasilia, Brazil, Friday, Aug. 31, 2018.

Da Silva's lawyers complained the court was rushing a decision because they submitted their defense only on Thursday and noted that the court rarely holds sessions on Fridays.

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