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Montevideo, August 20th 2018 - 13:28 UTC

Brazilian round of presidential candidates debate takes off...without Lula da Silva

Friday, August 10th 2018 - 06:11 UTC
Full article 20 comments
The real missing piece in the puzzle will be former two-term president Lula, who leads in opinion polls but is serving a 12-year sentence for corruption The real missing piece in the puzzle will be former two-term president Lula, who leads in opinion polls but is serving a 12-year sentence for corruption
A court rejected Lula da Silva's his request to take part in the debate by jail cell video link A court rejected Lula da Silva's his request to take part in the debate by jail cell video link
TV Bandeirantes has not responded to requests from Lula’s Workers’ Party to mark his absence with an empty chair at the debate TV Bandeirantes has not responded to requests from Lula’s Workers’ Party to mark his absence with an empty chair at the debate
Environmentalist Marina Silva Environmentalist Marina Silva
Right-winger Jair Bolsonaro who is polling in second place after Lula Right-winger Jair Bolsonaro who is polling in second place after Lula
Centre-right former Sao Paulo governor Geraldo Alckmin Centre-right former Sao Paulo governor Geraldo Alckmin

Brazil is staging its first presidential election debate with eight of the crowded field locking horns but also one notable absentee – jailed frontrunner ex president Lula da Silva. Thirteen candidates have officially entered the election, which starts with a first round October 7 and is almost sure to go to a run-off two weeks later.

 With deeply unpopular President Michel Temer not seeking a new term and Latin America’s biggest country in a deep funk after years of recession and corruption scandals, it is the least predictable election in decades.

The debate on TV Bandeirantes will not feature four of the candidates, who have too insignificant a presence in Congress to qualify. However, the real missing piece in the puzzle will be former two-term president Lula, who leads in opinion polls but is serving a 12-year sentence for corruption and looks almost sure to be barred from the ballot.

A court rejected his request to take part in the debate by jail cell video link.

So far, TV Bandeirantes has not responded to requests from Lula’s Workers’ Party to mark his absence with an empty chair at the debate, or to allow his vice-presidential pick, former Sao Paulo mayor Fernando Haddad, to take his place.

However, for the Workers’ Party, even an absent Lula is a powerful weapon. With around 30% in the polls, he would lead a first round and easily win a run-off. Because he has lost an appeal to his corruption conviction, he in theory will be barred under the Brazilian clean slate law. But Lula’s lawyers are pushing for an escape route in the courts.

The main candidates due to appear during the debate include right-winger Jair Bolsonaro, who is polling in second place after Lula, and his next biggest rivals: centre-right former Sao Paulo governor Geraldo Alckmin and environmentalist Marina Silva.

The October polls will also see elections for 27 governors, all 513 congressional lower house deputies and two-thirds of the 81 senators. But so far voters appear hardly enticed by the prospect. A poll published this month by the National Confederation of Industries showed that 45% of Brazilians “pessimistic or very pessimistic” about the elections.

While voting is mandatory, a third plan is to cast spoiled ballots, the poll found. Other polls point to between 33% and 41% of the electorate defying the law to skip voting.

 

Categories: Politics, Brazil.

Top Comments

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  • Jack Bauer

    EM
    Sorry to say, but the only person showing they are 'misinformed' here, is you.

    “a judicial ruling that said he had accepted an apartment as a bribe”....you talk about it as if he had accepted a 'cafezinho' in the local bar....conveniently ignoring that the 'Triprekis' is only the tip of the iceberg.....have you ever, really bothered to search for and read about the proof presented ? Sure doesn't look like it.

    Using Wiki as a reliable source are you ? not very dilligent of you....anyone can post just about anything they want in Wikipedia, so if I write in and say Lula's a crook, I presume you'll believe it (?)....the so-called “incredible jump' was backwards...I've asked you before, and you refuse to reply : ”where are the 40 million that Lula supposedly 'lifted out of poverty', now ?”

    Lula's two PACs (Growth Accelaration Program), not one, has consumed (i.e., disappeared, stolen ?) more than a quarter of a trillion dollras....with practically nothing to show for them, except for thousands of projects either stopped due to lack of funds or corruption, and with absolutely no satisfatction given to the taxpayer...

    “Under Lula, 'the percentage of Brazilians belonging to the consumerist ”middle class” (raised) from 37% to 50% of the population”......never read greater fake news.... Dilma lowered the bar to define poverty, which cast millions into the 'middle-class', literally overnight....BS ! Nothing changed for these people, except how they were defined...by Dilma.

    Wikipedia again ? and a WP Oct 2010 article ? At the height of Lula's popularity - despite his narrowly escaping impeachment in 2007 - the US papers were impressed by BS stats coming out of Brazil....so just one question, where is Brazil now, and who caused the crisis which started to become obvious in 2014 ? B4 Temer ?

    EM, you really need to check your information.

    Also please explain the connection between the crisis, the economy and the street kids killed by death squads in Rio......

    Aug 10th, 2018 - 06:33 pm +1
  • Chicureo

    Enrique Massot is more proof of us living in an age of expert socialist idiots... I'm again reminded of the sentence from Proverbs 26:11: “As a dog returneth to his vomit, so a fool returneth to his folly.”

    Aug 10th, 2018 - 06:47 pm +1
  • Chicureo

    Considering the incredible homicide rate in Brazil, it's doubtful they'll be able to adopt the philosophy of Isaiah 2:4 “Then He will judge between the nations and arbitrate for many peoples. They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks.”

    Aug 11th, 2018 - 12:03 am +1
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