A Brazilian Supreme Court judge on Monday overturned the corruption convictions of former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, restoring the left-wing leader’s political rights ahead of next year’s elections.
Judge Edson Fachin ruled that the federal court in the southern city of Curitiba that tried Lula did not have the appropriate jurisdiction. According to his ruling, the former president, who ruled Brazil between 2003 and 2010, is expected to be retried in a court in Brasilia.
If the ruling stands, it could set the stage for a presidential election battle next year between Lula da Silva and outgoing President Jair Bolsonaro, a right-wing populist and one of Lula da’s most bitter critics. Silva and his Left Workers Party, or PT.
Both men maintain a large block of grassroots supporters. A poll conducted this month by Ipec, a research institute, found that 50% of those polled said they would vote for Lula da Silva if possible in the next presidential race, compared to 38% for Bolsonaro.
Fachin’s decision, however, can be overturned on appeal by the plenary Supreme Court, an option that is already being sought by Brazil’s attorney general.
“Fachin has a strong connection to the Workers’ Party, so we are not surprised by this decision. But it will have to go through the plenary to be properly effective, ”Bolsonaro said on Monday.
Given the difficult pace of the Brazilian judicial system, few experts expect a new trial of Lula …
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