Convicted for corruption and money-laundering, former presidente Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva (Lula, as he is widely known) has decided anyway to present himself as a pre-candidate to Brazil’s next October presidential election, in spite knowing that as a convicted criminal he likely will be barred from the race.
He is backed by Brazil’s Workers Party (PT) and labour leaders who insist he will be their candidate in October’s poll, despite the threat of exclusion. The fact is that the party has no reasonable candidate to present, as its few other popular leaders have criminal records (Jose Dirceu, Antonio Palocci) or have not the necessary national appeal to win a presidential election.
On Thursday (Jan.25), a Brazilian court approved the seizure of Lula’s passport. The order was issued by Judge Ricardo Leite who is investigating allegations that Lula illegally lobbied on behalf of a Swedish firm that sold military jets to Brazil.