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Lula should be allowed to run in election, supporters say
August 21, 2018, 9:08 am

Lula is credited with reforms which brought many Brazilians out of poverty [PPIO]

With the national elections in Brazil less than two months away, some are calling for former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva to be allowed to run despite being incarcerated on a corruption conviction.

And he continues to dominate pre-election polls despite being behind bars where he is serving a 12-year sentence.

A survey carried out by pollster CNT/MDA in May, with results released on Monday, showed that 37 per cent of respondents would vote for Lula – up five percentage points from a similar poll conducted earlier in the year.

Far-right candidate Jair Bolsonaro of the Social Liberal Party came in at 18.3 per cent in the same poll.

Lula who is credited for much of the economic prosperity 15 years ago was last year convicted of money laundering and receiving millions in kickbacks from Brazilin energy giant Petrobras.

The former president said the charges against him, as well as the trial, were politically motivated and were part of a scheme to discredit him and ruin his career.

After he was indicted on alleged graft charges in 2016, Lula was ordered to stand trial for allegedly receiving at least $1 million in kickbacks from Brazilian energy company Petrobras.

Lula, a hugely popular president who served from 2003 to 2010 and is credited with a number of initiatives that propelled GDP growth and significantly reduced poverty in Brazil, had been under investigation for much of 2016 and 2017.

But Lula has for the past two years also come out the clear winner of a number of surveys conducted by leading pollsters such as the Vox Populi Institute and Datafolha.

Although it is unlikely the current constitution will allow him to run for president, both the leftist the Workers’ Party and the Landless Workers Movement will attempt to register his candidacy with the Supreme Electoral Court, which will rule on his elibility before September 17.

If he is barred, Lula’s pick for vice-president – Fernando Haddad – is expected to run in his place.

A second round run-off election is scheduled for October 28.

The BRICS Post with inputs from Agencies