Brazil: Lula pursues presidential comeback campaign

Brazil: Lula pursues presidential comeback campaign
By Euronews
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The leftist icon is determined to run in October's election despite failing to overturn a corruption conviction


Leftist icon Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva is determined to run in Brazil's presidential election, despite his failure to overturn a corruption conviction that will likely bar him from the race.

He has the full confidence of Brazil's Workers Party and labour leaders who insist he will be their candidate in October's poll, despite the threat of exclusion.

On Thursday, a Brazilian court approved the seizure of the two-term former president's passport, on the eve of a planned trip by Lula to Africa.

Among the public, Lula, 72, remains popular although not everyone is convinced.

"He was someone who looked after the poor people, but I think that he got lost in the politics," said Viviane Campos Lopes Gomes, a resident of Rio de Janeiro.

"I think he saw a lot of money. He started with good intentions but got lost on the way."

Lula's supporters call the ruling a "farce" orchestrated by his enemies to stop him returning to power.

He maintains his innocence and has vowed to "fight to the end".

Lula is one of scores of powerful politicians and businessmen caught up in sweeping corruption probes that have wracked the Brazilian establishment since 2014.

Workers Party leaders have called for a civil disobedience campaign to oppose Lula's exclusion from the election and say they will resist any move to arrest their hero, whose prison sentence was increased by the appeals court from nine to 12 years.

Political observers expect the Workers Party to back Lula's candidacy for as long as it possibly can, as without the charismatic ex-president on the campaign trail, Brazil's second largest party in Congress faces oblivion.

His exclusion raises the prospect of a right-leaning reformer winning the election and sticking to Brazil's austerity programme.

with Reuters

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