Saturday, 22 September, 2018

Brazil's top electoral court votes down Lula candidacy

Candidatos à Presidência da República participam do segundo debate das eleições de 2018 Marina Silva confronts Jair Bolsonaro is a recent televised presidential debate
Ebony Burgess | 03 September, 2018, 20:56

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 ruling by a 4-1 majority of the seven-member court removes some doubt about Brazil's most unpredictable and polarised election in decades.

But Lula and supporters had hoped the Supreme Electoral Tribunal, which makes final decisions on candidacies, would allow him to run.

Da Silva's left-leaning Workers' Party issued a statement vowing to appeal, but there appeared to be scant chance it would succeed. "It is a political annulment, based on lies and arbitrariness, as done in times of the dictatorship, ' said the text, adding that all recourses will be submitted to the courts so that Lula's political rights can be recognized, as established by law and global treaties ratified by Brazil".

A majority of Brazil's top electoral court shot down late Friday the candidacy of popular leftist Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva in the country's upcoming presidential vote, telling the jailed former leader he can not participate in October's critical election.

"We have a clearer picture that Lula's candidacy is doomed", said David Fleischer, a politics professor at the University of Brasilia.

China-Africa business forum attracts over 1000 African representatives
China's exports to Africa grew by 2.7 per cent to $94.74 billion, while its imports rose by 32.8 per cent to $75.26 billion. Stevens said Beijing's decision not to hike loans to Africa said it shouldn't be interpreted as a step back in relations.

Former trade union leader Lula is also involved in another five ongoing court cases. 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.

Although he vehemently denied all accusations against him, dismissing them as a political plot to prevent him from standing for elections, he was found guilty in July 2017 and lost an appeal against the conviction in January 2018.

If da Silva is barred, former Sao Paulo Mayor Fernando Haddad is seen as his likely candidate for the presidency. His nearest rival, far-right candidate Jair Bolsonaro, has 19 per cent.

Polls show tepid support for the vice presidential running mate Haddad's bid, but the party hopes Lula's popularity could boost the former mayor's hopes.

But he is adored by millions of Brazilians due to the prosperity Brazil enjoyed under his leadership from 2003 to 2010.

Lula's social media followers remain upbeat, though.

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