Brazil court split over ex-prez Lula's future

Apr 07, 2018, 01:30
Brazil court split over ex-prez Lula's future

A decision in favor of Lula would be a boost for the efforts of Brazil's first working-class president to save his political career from the corruption scandals that have rocked the political establishment and especially his Workers Party, which held the presidency from 2003 until mid-2016.

While Da Silva can appeal the conviction to higher courts, under Brazilian law a judge can order a convict to begin serving his sentence once the initial conviction is upheld on appeal.

The group have called the march "Either You Go, or He Returns", suggesting that, without major popular opposition, the Brazilian government would find a way to lodge Lula in the presidency once again. He leads preference polls for October's presidential election.

Lula, 72, easily leads polls in Brazil's October presidential election and his apparent downfall will throw the race completely open. Analysts said the only probable way out for Lula now would be if one of the remaining justices called for an adjournment of the process.

Supporters of Lula, who faces six separate graft trials in addition to the one in which he was already convicted, say he was wrongly found guilty by a partial judge who wants to block him from regaining the presidency.

"The change in jurisprudence, in this case, will imply the release of countless convicted persons", says a petition signed by more than 5,000 Brazilian magistrates. Party leader Gleisi Hoffmann said the court ruling violated "constitutional law and the presumption of innocence" and made Brazil "look like a little banana republic". I can't accept Lula out of the election.

BRASILIA:Brazil's Supreme Court was on the verge of rejecting on Wednesday former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva's plea to remain out of prison while he appeals a corruption conviction, a case that has sharply divided the country, cast a shadow over this year's presidential election and stirred rumblings in the army.

But many, including other military leaders, tweeted their support.

General Eduardo Villas Boas wrote on his verified Twitter account on Tuesday evening that the army was "attentive to its institutional missions" and that the military, along with "all good citizens, repudiates impunity and respects the Constitution, social peace and democracy."The commander added that "in Brazil's current situation, it is up to the institutions and citizens to ask who is really thinking of the well-being of our country and its future generations and who is only concerned about personal interests."Villas Boas did not elaborate".

Reflecting profound polarization in Brazil, the runner-up would be hard-line former army officer Jair Bolsonaro, an open fan of Brazil's 1964-1985 military dictatorship.

Ahead of Villas Boas' unusual comments, an army reservist general, Luiz Gonzaga Schroeder Lessa, even appeared to threaten a coup, saying an eventual Lula election victory would "leave no recourse but an armed reaction".

"The message was that people can be calm, because the institutions are here. It was the opposite", said the minister, Joaquim Silva e Luna, in Globo newspaper.

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