Published: Mon, September 03, 2018
Global Media | By Jackie Banks

Brazil court deciding on fate of da Silva's presidential bid

Brazil court deciding on fate of da Silva's presidential bid

Lula, Brazil's most popular politician, is serving a 12-year sentence for a corruption conviction.

The left-wing icon is leading polls but has been incarcerated since April for accepting a bribe, and could be barred from standing for a potential third term in office under Brazil's clean slate law.

The widely expected decision removes a cloud hanging over Brazil's most uncertain election in decades - though Lula's lawyers have said they would appeal an adverse decision to the Supreme Court.

Brazil's embattled former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, the front-runner in the country's election, will be struck from the ballot, an electoral court ruled on Friday, reshaping Brazil's election one month before voters cast their ballots. "The party stressed, 'We are going to defend Lula in the streets, along with the people, because he is the candidate of hope".

His Workers' Party said it would appeal 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 worldwide treaties ratified by Brazil".

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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 statement was released after most TSE ministers chose to ignore a decision by the United Nations Human Rights Committee and deprive former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva of his right to run as a presidential candidate for the upcoming elections.

Lula's case was a last-minute addition to the Superior Electoral Court's extraordinary session, where seven magistrates in Brasilia began hearing it at 5:00 pm (2000 GMT).

He was found guilty in July 2017 and then lost his first appeal in January.

The Supreme Electoral Court barred Lula from running because it would violate an anti-corruption law that the former president himself signed. He left office with a 90% approval rating, after his policies helped to lift millions of Brazilians out of poverty.

From behind bars, the two times former leftist president and union leader is hugely popular and leads polls.

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. But whether Lula can transfer his popularity to a replacement remains to be seen.

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