Brazil's Attorney General, Raquel Dodge, has challenged the registration of former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva as a presidential candidate.
On Wednesday, she filed a petition stating that Lula is ineligible to run for office because he was convicted on charges of corruption. Brazil's Ficha Limpa (Clean Sheet Act) stipulates that political candidates must not have a criminal record.
"We will, of course, take all necessary steps to ensure that those who are ineligible have a quick response from the Electoral Justice," Dodge said. She has forwarded her petition to Luis Roberto Barroso, head of the candidate registrations at the Superior Electoral Court (TSE).
Several congressional candidates also challenged Lula's candidacy, including actor Alexandre Frota of the Social Liberal Party (PSL), as well as Kim Kataguiri, Democrat candidate (DEM) and one of the coordinators of the Free Brazilian Movement (MBL).
Former Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff registered Lula's presidential candidacy along with the Workers' Party President Gleisi Hoffmann, former Sao Paulo mayor and Lula's vice-presidential running mate Fernando Haddad and congresswoman Manuela D'Avila at the Electoral Superior Court in Brasilia Wednesday. They were accompanied by tens of thousands of supporters, who had traveled from across the country, the registration was described as an “act of national sovereignty,” by Haddad.
In a public statement, Lula noted that citizens should decide “if they want me to fix the country... We will spread across Brazil, in the streets, at work, in social media platforms, and, principally, looking in the eyes of the people, remembering them that this country was once happy and that the poorest were considered in the national budget as an investment and not as an item of expenditure.”
Despite his conviction and imprisonment for alleged corruption, events that many legal experts and observers attribute to lawfare and a salacious mainstream media campaign, Lula has topped every 2018 electoral poll conducted by Vox Populi, Ibope, Datafolha, Data Poder 360, Instituto Parana, the National Confederation of Transportation/MDA and Ipsos.
Lula's two terms in office were marked by a slew of social programs, lifting millions of Brazilians out of poverty and removing the country from the United Nations World Hunger Map. He left office with a record approval rating of 83 percent in 2011, according to Datafolha.