The ulphelding (on Wednesday, Jan.24) of the conviction of former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva – for corruption and money laundering – by a Brazilian appeals court, puts an end on his plans to run for president next October.
That’s because the appeals court decision turns Lula legally ineligible under Brazil’s “clean slate” law, according to specialists. The act (dated 2010) makes a candidate who has been convicted by a decision of a collective body (meaning more than one single judge) ineligible for eight years, even if there is still the possibility of appeals.
Silvana Batini, a professor of electoral law at the Getúlio Vargas Foundation in Rio, said that not all doors are immediately closed to the former president and that certain legal formalities may let Lula to start the electoral process, in spite of his conviction.
The Workers’ Party seems inclined to register Lula’s candidacy in August, and wait a final decision , to be taken by the superior electoral court by mid-September.
But some in the Workers’ Party see the situation as a quandary. Should they maintain their support to Lula up to the last instance, risking to arrive at October’s election without a candidate?
The problem is that the Workers’ Party best names are ineligible by the above mentioned “clean slate” law. Others are local politicians that lack condition to face a major national-level election.
Brazil’s economic situation will demand from the next president certain qualification and qualities not commonly found in the Workers’ Party parliamentarians. For reasons such as those, the Brazilian press begins to point to the name of Celso Amorim, a diplomat and former minister of Foreign Affairs as a good choice for PT’s Plan B. Amorim – who was selected by Lula himself to be the party’s candidate for Governor of Rio de Janeiro – denied such rumours, considering them as speculative.