In early June, the world flew sensational news, coming from Brazil. The famous ex-president of Brazil, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, currently serving a sentence for corruption, intends to nominate his candidacy for the post of head of state in the upcoming elections this fall. Such a statement was made by the Governor of State of Piauí Wellington Dias. Will such a turn of Brazilian history be possible? Will the “left” return power to their own hands?
It is worth turning to the modern era of Brazil. Lula da Silva headed the state from 2003 to 2010. After presidential activity, Lula was diagnosed with laryngeal cancer with malignant neoplasms in the respiratory throat. And in March of 2012, Lula announced his recovery and return to politics.
However, at the beginning of March of 2016, Lula da Silva was detained and taken to the police for interrogation, in his house the police carried out a search in the framework of the anti-corruption investigation. Against the Brazilian ex-president, five corruption charges were brought. The Prosecutor’s Office immediately requested an arrest warrant on charges of money laundering and perjury. In particular, the former Brazilian leader was found guilty of receiving approximately $ 1.1 million in bribes from the construction company “OAS”. These funds were invested in the purchase of a luxury apartment in the city of Guarujá in the state of São Paulo. Investigators claim that he received a penthouse apartment in a coastal residential complex as a bribe from a company that worked with the “Petrobras” and concealed the fact of ownership.
Prior to this scandal, which deserves the plot of a new Brazilian “soap opera”, Lula was suspected of involvement in the corrupt scheme in the oil company “Petrobras”. It is worth recalling that she was at the center of a corruption scandal as early as in 2014, when the public became aware that several functionaries signed contracts and received a commission of 3% of the contract amount for this. The proceeds were subsequently used to bribe politicians and officials. According to official data of the Brazilian authorities, the overestimation of prices and bribes brought to the authors of the scheme an average of about 3.8 billion dollars.
In July of 2017, the Federal Court sentenced him to 9.5 years in prison on charges of corruption. However, after an attempt to appeal this decision, new circumstances of the case were clarified. After that, in January of 2018, Lula da Silva was sentenced to 12 years and one month in prison. In April of 2018, ex-President Lula was taken to the city of Curitiba, where he began serving a prison sentence for a case of corruption.
Wellington Dias visited Lula at his place of detention in the city of Curitiba. According to Dias, nominating a scandalous ex-president will not just be a formal registration, because, according to his supporters, based on the law and the constitution of the republic, Lula retained his political rights and could be re-elected. According to Governor Dias, Lula is not driven by personal aspirations, but by his “sincere” concern for the fate of his country and the Brazilian people.
After the official statement of Wellington Dias in May, Lula confirmed that he really intends to run for the upcoming October elections of the head of Brazil, despite his imprisonment. A month earlier, the “Labor Party” also announced that Lula remains her candidate for the upcoming elections.
It is worth emphasizing that according to the latest opinion polls, the 71-year-old former Brazilian president is still one of the most popular politicians in the South American country. Polls of the Institute of Sociological Research “Datafolha” show that now 30% of voters are ready to vote for it, which is the best indicator for the presented possible candidates for the post of head of state in 2018. According to Brazilian legislation, a prisoner cannot be a candidate in the presidential election. However, Lula da Silva himself claims that he intends to run, despite the conviction. According to the polls, Lula’s closest rival Jair Bolsonaro, secured the support of only 13% of the respondents. The third place in the list of favorites is taken by the leader of the environmental movement Marina Silva, who previously ran for president. It is supported by about 10% of respondents.
According to the latest Brazilian news, on the 30th of June, the judge of the Federal Supreme Court (FAF) of Brazil, Alexandre de Moraes, refused to satisfy the lawsuit of Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. As previously reported, lawyers scandalous politicians sought his release from custody while considering all appeals relating to the verdict in the corruption case.
According to the version of the defense, the decision to arrest the ex-head of state was made too hastily and with violation of the current legislation. In particular, we are talking about the fact that Lula was sent to prison to serve his sentence before all appeals regarding the final verdict were considered. In addition, lawyers of Lula da Silva sought to transfer his case to another judge of the FAF, however, this was also denied.
Previous appeals of the defense on the decision to arrest the former head of state were also rejected. The lawyers of Lula da Silva can again challenge the verdict of Moraes, before the plenary session of the FAF.
Despite the current legislation, the “left wing” of the Brazilian political elite, in particular the “Labor Party”, during June held a series of demonstrations and actions supporting the nomination of the former leader in the presidential elections of 2018. Against the backdrop of scandals, discontent and general fatigue of the Brazilian people, connected with the bitter disappointment of the ruling “right” regime, the idea of Lula’s return to the “presidential” chair does not seem incredible. What the representatives of the “left” will go into in a desperate struggle for power is unclear, however, more and more opinion polls show the return of “leftist” sentiments to the political arena. Already on the 15th of August, the “Labor Party” promises to officially nominate Lula da Silva for the presidency by submitting an application to the Supreme Electoral Court of the country. It is worth recalling that in Brazil precedents have already happened when the convicted candidates were given the opportunity to run for one or another state post. Therefore, the “Labor Party” hopes that its petition will be approved.
Presidential elections in Brazil will be held on the 7th of October of 2018. By the way, people who directly connected with the “parliamentary coup” refused to take part in them, as a result of which the ex-leader of the country Dilma Russeff was removed from power. From the nomination of his candidacy refused and the current president Michel Temer. Against the backdrop of the growing popularity of Lula da Silva, Brazil is again entering a period of “acute” political struggle for power, when the outcome of the election looks completely unpredictable.