Brazil’s Workers Party to announce imprisoned former President Lula as official candidate

Brazil’s Workers Party to announce imprisoned former President Lula as official candidate

Brazil’s Workers’ Party (PT) will today formally announce Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva as its presidential candidate for October’s general

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Photo: Reuters/Francisco Proer

Brazil’s Workers’ Party (PT) will today formally announce Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva as its presidential candidate for October’s general election.

The nomination comes at a difficult time for Brazil’s most popular candidate and former president. Lula has been under fire since July after being sent to prison on money laundering and corruption charges. The United Nations Human Rights Committee has begun investigating whether Lula’s judicial rights were violated by a potentially “unfair trial and appeal”. It is also unclear whether Lula maintains the judicial right to run while imprisoned.

Given Lula’s defeat in court, support for PT has dwindled without the guarantee that Lula could indeed secure the presidency. Rivalling him are candidates from parties less familiar to Brazilian politics, including far-right Jair Bolsonaro, who leads with a populist, anti-crime campaign ahead of centre-left Marina Silva and leftist Ciro Gomes.

Naming Lula as the official PT candidate is a symbolic gesture of support amidst the uncertainty of his eligibility. As a country mired in polarisation in and out of its government, Brazil is looking to another term of economic and political stagnation.