Brasilia: Former Brazilian president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva is out from the presidential race in the next month’s elections due to a corruption conviction.
Six of seven justices from the Supreme Electoral Tribunal in Brasilia, Brazil’s top electoral court on Friday ruled that Lula was barred from running for the presidency, despite serving a 12-year prison term for graft and money laundering, CNN reported.
The 72-year-old leader has been in jail since April after he was convicted on corruption charges. Lula has rejected such allegations and his defence claimed that he was a victim of political persecution.
Meanwhile, the Workers’ Party, Brazil’s only socialist party said in a statement: “We will present all the appeals to the courts so that the political rights of Lula, as provided by law and in international treaties ratified by Brazil, are recognised.”
Last month, the party had registered Lula’s name as its presidential candidate. At that time, he said in a statement on his official website that he had “submitted his candidacy with the certainty that he could do much to take Brazil out of one of the worst crises in history.”
Lula was found guilty in ‘Operation Car Wash’ scam that also involved a score of top politicos across several political parties of Brazil. He was convicted of receiving a renovated beachfront apartment approximately worth USD 1.1 million as a bribe from an engineering firm. He was initially found guilty of the charges in July last year, the report said.
Subsequently in January this year, Lula was handed over the prison sentence by an appeals court, which had unanimously upheld the corruption and money laundering charges against him.
Lula, who was Brazil’s 35th president from 2003 to 2011, was considered a frontrunner for the October elections before he was convicted and jailed.