Brazil election: Jailed ex-leader Lula pulls out – UMUSEKE – News indeed
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Former Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva has pulled out of next month’s presidential election, allowing his running mate to stand in his place.

Lula had a huge lead over all other candidates

Workers’ Party leader Gleisi Hoffman announced the decision outside the police headquarters where the 72-year-old is serving a 12-year sentence.

Brazil’s top electoral court barred Lula’s candidacy less than two weeks ago due to his corruption conviction.

The move comes days after a far-right candidate was stabbed at a rally.

What has happened with Lula?

A letter written by Lula in his prison cell was read out to his supporters who have been camping outside the jail for five months demanding he be freed.

In it, the former president, who governed from January 2003 until December 2010, said he would not run in the election scheduled for 7 October.

He also named Fernando Haddad as the man to step into the breach.

Why did he finally give up?

The decision comes after a lengthy legal battle which culminated on 31 August when the Superior Electoral Court (TSE) ruled that he was “ineligible” to run for the presidency.

Lula’s legal team and the Workers’ Party have appealed against the decision and the Supreme Court is still due to rule on it.

Up until Monday night, the Workers’ Party strategy had been to keep Lula’s name on the ticket for as long as possible.

Lula left office with record approval ratings and despite his imprisonment, almost 40% of people asked by polling firm Datafolha said they would vote for him.

Mr Haddad, on the other hand, is a former education minister who has little name recognition outside of São Paulo, where he served as mayor.

Lula’s legal team asked the Supreme Court to extend the deadline for registering candidates for the presidency from end of business Tuesday to Monday 17 September to buy itself more time.

Typical of the high drama which has characterised the election campaign, Lula and his party decided to change tack after the Supreme Court rejected their request to extend the deadline.

BBC

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