Lula’s Ally to Head PT’s Ticket in Brazil Election

Lula’s Ally to Head PT’s Ticket  in Brazil Election
Lula’s Ally to Head PT’s Ticket  in Brazil Election

Jailed former Brazilian president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva was to throw in the towel on Tuesday in his legal battle to run in the Oct. 7 election and allow his Workers Party to announce running mate Fernando Haddad as its candidate, party sources told Reuters.

Lula had hoped the Supreme Court would agree to an appeal for more time to switch the head of the Workers Party (PT) ticket after Brazil’s top electoral court last week banned him from running due to a corruption conviction and gave him 10 days to remove his name, Reuters reported.

Two sources with knowledge of Lula’s decision said Haddad will become the official candidate with an announcement outside the Federal Police headquarters in the southern city of Curitiba where the leftist icon has been jailed since April, serving a 12-year sentence for receiving bribes.

Despite appeals still pending before the Supreme Court, Lula decided it was time to pass the baton to Haddad on the deadline set by the court and not run the risk of the votes for his party’s ticket being annulled by the electoral court.

Lula’s letter anointing Haddad was to be read out to supporters who have camped outside the police building for five months to protest his jailing, which they consider a plot to keep him from returning to power, a party official said.

Lula and Haddad huddled together on Monday afternoon in his jail room and began to draw up the letter, he said.

The sources asked not to be named because they were not authorized to speak publicly about Lula’s plans.

Lula served as president from 2003-2010 and remains by far Brazil’s most popular politician. But he is ineligible for office under Brazil’s “Clean Slate” law, which prohibits candidates from running if they have convictions that have been upheld on appeal.

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