BRASILIA – Brazil’s top electoral court has prohibited that the jailed former president Lula Inácio da Silva stand for the upcoming 7th October presidential elections over corruption charges leveled against him.
Six judges voted against Lula’s candidacy while the seventh’s vote was in his favor. “What’s at stake today is the equality of all citizens before the law and the Constitution”, said Judge Og Fernández during the Court’s session while casting his vote.
Judge Admar Gonzaga, who had participated as an advocate in the 20101 election campaign of Dilma Rousseff, the successor of the jailed Lula, issued the decisive vote to unauthorize the ex president’s aspiration to run for a another term.
Under Brazil’s “Clean Slate” law, the ex presidente, who is serving a 12-year prison sentence for corruption charges, can’t run for any political post if his sentences have been ratified in an appeals court.
His Workers’ Party has said it will challenge the decision in the country’s Supreme Court. “The court has given up to the desires of the Brazilian elite to impeded that Lula return to power. It ignored the UN Human Rights Committee recommendation that Lula enjoy his political rights”, has announced the leftist party in a statement.
Regardless of his charges, Lula, who started the campaign from the prison, is the South American country’s most popular politician leading the polls with 39% while his closest rival, the ultra right candidate Jair Bolsonaro is trailing in the second place with only 19%, according to a survey by Datafolha.
It’s expected that Lula’s running mate, ex Sao Paulo mayor, Fernando Haddad, replace him as the party’s new presidential candidate to avoid its lead in the pre-election polls. Although, Lula’s leftist Workers’ Party has until 17th September to make this change, the court has give a 10th September deadline to replace him with a new candidate.
The court also sentenced that the jailed ex president shouldn’t appear in TV and radio campaign ads before his name is removed the party’s list.
Bolivia’s President, Evo Morales, has “rejected” the Brazilian court’s decision and described it as an “attack against democracy and the Brazilian people’s will”.
El Tribunal Electoral de Brasil ha rechazado la candidatura a la presidencia del Hno. @LulaOficial, pese a que lidera todas las encuestas de preferencia electoral. Rechazamos esta decisión porque atenta contra la democracia y la voluntad del pueblo brasileño. #LulaPresidente
— Evo Morales Ayma (@evoespueblo) September 1, 2018
Also, Pablo Bustinduy, a lawmaker from Spain’s ultra left Podemos party has also criticized the court’s decision against Lula, describing it a “coup” to leave the ex Brazilian president out of the presidential polls.
🇧🇷 El tribunal electoral consuma el golpe para apartar a Lula de las elecciones. Violentan la posición de la ONU, las garantías del Estado de Derecho y el principio democrático para entregarle el pais a la extrema derecha. No lo lograrán: la democracia se va a abrir paso. pic.twitter.com/Us3PT9kcAy
— Pablo Bustinduy (@pbustinduy) September 1, 2018
“But, they won’t achieve this goal. Democracy will open its path”, he concluded in a Twitter post.