- The Workers’ Party in Brazil has registered jailed Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva as its presidential candidate for the country’s upcoming elections
- The former president was convicted of accepting bribes and has been accused in other ongoing cases; but has denied any wrongdoing
- A request to invalidate Lula’s candidacy was immediately filed at the TSE by the office of the federal prosecutor-general
Former Brazilian president, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who is currently serving a 12-year graft sentence, was registered as the presidential candidate of the country’s Worker’s Party on Wednesday, August 15.
Senior party members who registered the candidacy just hours before the deadline, were accompanied to the country’s top electoral court by about 10,000 of the former president’s supporters who chanted “Free Lula” and “Lula for President”, Reuters reports.
NAIJ.com gathers that the supporters carried signs calling him a political prisoner, while donning Lula masks.
Lula was convicted of accepting bribes and has been accused in other ongoing cases of orchestrating a kickback scheme while in office. He has, however, denied any wrongdoing.
Despite being in jail since April 2018, the former president leads electoral polls that include his name.
Brazil’s electoral court is, however, expected to bar him from running. When that happens, his running mate, Fernando Haddad, will top the ticket.
Despite having seen his popularity hurt by corruption scandals involving his party, which lost power in 2016 when his hand-picked successor, Dilma Rousseff, was impeached for breaking budget rules, polls show that about one-third of Brazilians would still vote for Lula.
Speaking to reporters after registering Lula’s candidacy, Haddad stated: “People thought Lula would not survive in the polls and the opposite is the case. He is still the front-runner in all scenarios and would win outright in some of them.
“If the people want to vote for him, they should have the right to do so.”
A request to invalidate Lula’s candidacy was immediately filed at the TSE by the office of the federal prosecutor-general, because an appeals court had upheld his conviction, making Lula ineligible for public office, according to Brazilian law.
Meanwhile, NAIJ.com previously reported that a Brazilian judge denied former president, Luiz Lula da Silva, the right to receive a visit from nine regional governors and other politicians in the prison where he is staying in the southern city of Curitiba.
Justice Carolina Lebbos pointed to an earlier order from Justice Sergio Moro, who issued an arrest warrant for the popular politician and said he could have no prison privileges other than a television set in his cell.
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