Published: Mon, September 03, 2018
Worldwide | By Lisa Hogan

'Most popular politician on earth' barred from running for president

'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. The law preventing Lula from running because of his corruption charges is clear, he argued.

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 worldwide treaties ratified by Brazil, are recognized".

Top electoral court rules jailed former president can not run in October's election because of his graft conviction.

But unlike Lula, former Sao Paulo mayor Haddad commands little popular support. Polls show tepid support for his bid as da Silva's replacement, but the party hopes the latter's popularity could boost the former mayor's hopes. U.S. President Barack Obama once called him the "most popular politician on earth". Under Brazilian law, Lula was deemed unable to run for the presidency after his conviction was upheld on an initial appeal.

"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", Barroso said.

Brazil's top electoral court ruled Friday that jailed former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva can not run in this year's presidential election due to a corruption conviction.

But he has been in jail since April after he was sentenced to 12 years for corruption and money laundering. "The party stressed, 'We are going to defend Lula in the streets, along with the people, because he is the candidate of hope". The ruling comes after the UN Human Rights Committee appealed to the Brazilian government, asking it to allow the former president to exercise his political rights.

While justices were debating, the Workers' Party put out ads on its social media channels featuring da Silva, holding to a strategy to keep the former president front and centre as long as possible.

On Saturday, Lula appeared in the party's television campaigning slot, which saw running mate Fernando Haddad promise: "We're going with Lula until the end".

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). His nearest rival, far-right candidate Jair Bolsonaro, has 19 percent.

Like this: