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Montevideo, September 21st 2017 - 21:20 UTC

Lula defies conviction and formally launches his presidential candidacy

Friday, July 14th 2017 - 08:00 UTC
Full article 44 comments
In an impassioned speech at his Workers' party headquarters in São Paulo, the ex president warned: “Whoever thinks this is the end of Lula is in for a shock.” In an impassioned speech at his Workers' party headquarters in São Paulo, the ex president warned: “Whoever thinks this is the end of Lula is in for a shock.”

The former Brazilian president Lula da Silva responded defiantly to his conviction on corruption charges by formally launching his candidacy for next year’s presidential election.

 In an impassioned speech on Thursday at his Workers' party headquarters in São Paulo the day after a federal judge, Sergio Moro, sentenced him to nine years and six months in jail, Brazil’s first working-class president warned: “Whoever thinks this is the end of Lula is in for a shock.”

As well as denouncing Moro’s ruling he attacked the prosecutors who built the case against him, as well as the country’s media and political elite. In the latest ratcheting up of the country’s increasingly polarized political debate, Lula said, to cheers from militants gathered in the street below: “Lords of the big house, let someone from the slave quarters do what you have no competence to do in this country. Let someone look after this people, because it doesn’t need to be governed by the elite.”

If Wednesday’s sentence is upheld in a higher federal court Lula will be barred from holding any elected office. The judge decided to allow Lula to remain at liberty while he appeals the ruling.

At the Workers’ Party meeting its president, Gleisi Hoffmann, warned: “Any election without the participation of President Lula is a fraud.”

Although his rejection rating in polls is above 50%, Lula is the front runner in next year’s presidential race. His removal would pose a major challenge for the Workers’ Party. Engulfed in corruption scandals, it has no competitive candidate to replace him.

Lula was convicted of corruption and money laundering after Moro accepted the argument of federal prosecutors that he was the ultimate owner of a beachfront triplex apartment, having received it from a construction company in return for favors at Petrobras, Brazil’s semi-state oil giant.

Lula denies the accusation, saying the conviction relies on the word of company executives who gave false testimony against him in order reduce their own sentences for corruption. He challenged his detractors to provide “a single proof against me”. “I’d be happier if I was convicted because of some evidence,” he said.

An appeal could take between six and 18 months. The higher federal court responsible for reviewing Judge Moro’s sentences in the sprawling anti-corruption operation that started as an investigation into wrongdoing at Petrobras has so far upheld about two-thirds of his rulings.

Categories: Politics, Brazil.

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  • MarkWhelan

    How can we even think that Lula is guilty of any wrongdoing after all even MercoPress reported on his honesty.
    http://en.mercopress.com/2016/01/22/lula-furious-over-bribe-allegations-says-he-s-the-most-honest-man-in-brazil
    Oh wait a moment they were only relying on the word of one man in that report. The word of a man who shifts all suspicion of any wrongdoing to his conveniently dead wife. Isn´t it funny that she died at such a convenient moment.

    Jul 14th, 2017 - 03:14 pm +3
  • Jack Bauer

    A move totally expected from the nine-fingered toad.....as his cases are tried and he is convicted, his prison time will add up....at the moment, nine and a half years and counting..

    Meanwhile, let him enjoy his last year of freedom, and kid himself that he is “God”.

    Jul 14th, 2017 - 02:31 pm +2
  • :o))

    @DT

    REF: THE Two Thousand & Odd Crooks: These are “identified” ONLY and are enjoying 100% freedom.

    BUT what about those who'll NEVER be identified, accused, convicted or condemned?

    The crimes of many of them are so grave that a few of these criminals deserve electric chairs instead of the Electronic Anklets [tornozeleira eletrônica]. These have become quite fashionable amongst the corrupt!

    Somewhat encouraging GOOD news is that Brazil is not left ALONE!:
    https://www.humorpolitico.com.br/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/Corrupci%C3%B3n-galopante-esp-557x420.jpeg

    Jul 16th, 2017 - 10:33 am +2
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