The ongoing political crisis in Brazil reaches a critical point today at the Supreme Court. Six months ahead of the presidential elections, front-runner and former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva will hear whether or not the country’s highest court’s split will sway in his favour.
Lula faced corruption charges of money laundering for which he was found guilty last July. Today’s ruling will either uphold or eliminate his writ of habeas corpus to work through all possible appeals freely before heading to jail.
Today’s decision will have great, potentially dangerous implications for Brazilian politics, both for the short- and long-term. Lula has already made it quite far working his way through the courts, considering he 2010 “clean slate” ruling deems that convicted individuals should be imprisoned after the rejection of their first appeal. Despite support for Lula, a disillusioned electorate in search of transparent elections may be further disappointed if Lula remains free, ultimately giving other convicted people grounds to demand the same. Regardless of the result, expect Brazilians to continue hitting the streets, perhaps violently, protesting either Lula’s arrest or the political corruption that prevented it.
Bibi contributes to our analysis of European affairs for The Daily Brief. She also serves as a copy editor for the publication.