Brazil electoral court bars Lula from presidential race

Brazil electoral court bars Lula from presidential race

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

The ruling this week defies a request from the United Nations Human Rights Committee in August for Brazilian authorities "not to prevent him from standing for election in the 2018 presidential elections, until his appeals before the courts have been completed in fair judicial proceedings".

Brazil's top electoral court has barred jailed former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva from running in October's presidential elections because of his corruption conviction.

Moments after the court's pronouncement was announced, members of Da Silva's Workers Party reiterated their will to secure his candidacy by any means possible.

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His Workers' Party (PT) has stubbornly kept up its attempts to force Lula's name onto the ballot box, registering him as a candidate two weeks ago.

The electoral court also ruled that Lula should not appear in the Workers Party's television and radio ads campaign until the ticket has been officially altered to remove him. 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.

A party statement said the court had bowed to the wishes of Brazil's elites to stop Lula returning to office. By law, the former president is barred from running because his conviction has already been upheld by one appeals court.

"We will defend Lula in the streets, with the people, because he is a candidate of hope".

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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 a first appeal in January. Polls show tepid support for his bid, but the party hopes da Silva's popularity could boost the former mayor's hopes.

The former firebrand union leader led Brazil during a booming period from 2003 and 2010, promoting social policies that pulled millions from poverty.

But unlike Lula, former Sao Paulo mayor Haddad commands little popular support.

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The decision could work to the advantage of extreme right-wing candidate Jair Bolsanaro, who is running second in the polls to Lula.

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