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Lula da Silva Barred From Running for Brazil’s Presidency

Lula da Silva Barred From  Running for Brazil’s PresidencyLula da Silva Barred From  Running for Brazil’s Presidency

Former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has been barred from Brazil’s October presidential election by the country’s electoral court despite easily leading in the polls—a ruling that adds uncertainty to the race to lead Latin America’s largest nation, leaving no clear favorites.

In a session that stretched into the early hours of Saturday, the justices voted 6-1 against the once hugely popular president, who is imprisoned on a corruption conviction he claims is a sham, AP reported.

Da Silva’s left-leaning Workers’ Party issued a statement vowing to appeal, but there appeared to be scant chance it would succeed. That would seem to leave the party’s fortunes in the hands of its current vice presidential candidate Fernando Haddad, a former Sao Paulo mayor who so far has polled in single digits and would have to count on the borrowed charisma of da Silva to succeed.

Supreme Court Justice Luis Roberto Barroso cast the first vote against da Silva, saying the ruling was “very simple” because the law forbids candidates whose conviction has been upheld on 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.

Justice Edson Fachin disagreed, citing a recent call by a UN human rights committee calling for da Silva to be allowed to run while he further appeals his conviction.

Even as the justices were debating, the Workers’ Party put out ads on social media channels featuring da Silva, holding fast to a strategy to keep the former president front and center as long as possible.

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