Home Politics 2018 elections Former Brazilian Chief Justice in bid for presidential elections

Former Brazilian Chief Justice in bid for presidential elections



Former Chief Justice and first black member of Supreme Court, Joaquim Barbosa, 63, met with leaders of the Brazilian Socialist Party, or PSB, to finalize his affiliation to the party with an eye to running for the presidency.

The judge came to Brasilia to discuss his affiliation with party chiefs on Thursday morning, according to lower house deputy Julio Delgado. Under Brazilian law, candidates have until April 7 to join a party if they wish to run for election. Political parties do not have to register their candidates until August 15.

PSB leader Carlos Siqueira said that Barbosa should join the party by next Friday’s deadline for party affiliation, and many members would like to nominate him for president in the October election.

Barbosa, the son of a bricklayer, became a popular figure in 2012 for heading the highest-profile political corruption trial at the time, which led to the imprisonment of three top aides to former leftist president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.

A spokesman for Barbosa said talks with PSB leadership over coffee at a bakery on Thursday morning had “advanced well” but that the former justice had not taken a final decision yet.

Barbosa has never run for public office, but since he retired from the top court in 2014 his name has regularly appeared in presidential opinion polls, often within the margin of error of more established potential candidates such as Sao Paulo Governor Geraldo Alckmin.

With Brazil’s political establishment rocked by political corruption scandals, voters are seeking alternative candidates like Barbosa who are honest and trustworthy, Siqueira said.

“I think this is the right moment for his candidacy. It would fit the desire for an outsider who proposes a new way of doing politics,” Siqueira said in a telephone interview.

“If the party picks him, Barbosa stands a good chance of reaching the runoff and vying for the presidency. He could win,” Siqueira said.