The Workers’ Party put an end to the career of the former president for the elections on Oct. 7th.
The Workers Party of Brazil replaced former President Lula da Silva with the former mayor of San Pablo, Fernando Haddad, as his candidate for presidential elections scheduled on October 7th.
The decision puts an end to one of the biggest questions in the elections to elect the president of the largest nation in Latin America.
After a meeting with representatives of the PT in the southern city of Curitiba – where Lula is imprisoned – party officials confirmed Haddad as the new candidate. His partner of formula will be Manuela D’Avila, of the Communist Party of Brazil.
The decision, although planned, was an acknowledgment that the PT failed to get Lula on the ballot despite numerous court attempts.
“The fight has barely started, let’s go Haddad! Haddad is Lula!” The PT tweeted in his account. “He was Lula’s minister, he’s Lula’s lawyer and the best: he’s a friend of Lula.”
Haddad, a professor of political science who took over as education minister and who later dabbled in politics, will meet with Lula after the decision, said members of his party. There is expected to be a press conference and a formal announcement in the afternoon.
The former president is serving a 12-year sentence for favors to the construction company Grupo OAS in exchange for the promise of an apartment on the beach. Lula denies having committed any crime and argues that this and other accusations against him seek to keep him off the ballot.
The man who led Brazil from 2003 to 2010 has headed the polls easily for more than a year, but the country’s highest electoral tribunal vetoed his candidacy.
Recent polls show Haddad far behind, but the PT hopes that it will now rise with the backing of Lula. The leader is the right-wing congressman, Jair Bolsonaro, with more than 20% in a race that places several of the candidates with approximately 10%.
Haddad was Minister of Education under the leadership of Lula and his successor Dilma Rousseff. In 2012 he was elected mayor of San Pablo, the most populous city in South America, but he was not reelected four years later.
A Datafolha poll published on Monday shows Haddad in the fourth place, favored with 9% of the intention to vote, an amount that represents an increase of five percentage points in just a few weeks. However, he remains behind Bolsonaro, who obtained 24% of the preferences in the survey, from the leftist Ciro Gomes, with 13%, from the centrist Marina Silva, with 11%, and from the right-wing Geraldo Alckmin, with 10%.
The survey has a margin of error of two percentage points. The 2,804 participants were surveyed after Lula was declared ineligible by the Superior Electoral Court and Bolsonaro was stabbed in an incident that could cause him to be hospitalized until the day of the elections.
If none of the candidates gets more than 50% on October 7th, a second round will be held on the 28th of the same month to choose between the two most voted candidates.