Six former European leaders, including former Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero and former French Prime Minister Francois Hollande, have released a manifesto Tuesday in support of former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva who has been imprisoned since April 7.
Titled the “Call of European Leaders in Support of Lula,” which was also signed by former Italian Prime Ministers Massimo D'Alema, Romano Prodi and Enrico Letta, as well as former Belgian Prime Minister Elio di Rupo, it criticized his imprisonment and requested that he be allowed to “freely run” for president in the October election.
“The precipitated imprisonment of President Lula, a tireless journeyman in the reduction of inequalities in Brazil and a defender of the poor, can only incite our commotion,” the statement noted.
“The legitimate and necessary struggle against corruption cannot justify an operation (in reference to the Car Wash investigation) that questions the principles of democracy and the right of people to choose their governments.”
The statement went on to characterize Rousseff's impeachment a “serious concern” for she was “democratically chosen by her people and whose integrity was never revoked.”
It also denounced the ongoing Car Wash investigations and the impeachment of Lula's presidential successor, Dilma Rousseff, according to Deutsche Welle.
Despite being convicted on alleged corruption charges and imprisoned since April 7, 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.
His two-terms in office 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.