By Paulo Victor Chagas
Leaders of the Workers’ Party (PT) confirmed early on Tuesday afternoon (11) the nomination of Fernando Haddad, onetime minister and former São Paulo mayor, to take the place of ex-President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva in the presidential race this year.
Lula has been incarcerated in a Federal Police prison unit in the south city of Curitiba since April, after being convicted for corruption and money laundering by an appellate court.
The former leader had his request for candidacy rejected by the Superior Electoral Court (TSE).
The replacement was a unanimous decision made in a party summit meeting. Deputy José Guimarães, of the PT, attended the event and said that former Federal Deputy Manuela d’Ávila, of Brazil’s Communist Party (PCdoB) will be confirmed as running mate. D’Ávila gave up running for president herself after her party decided to back the PT.
The Superior Electoral Court said the PT should unveil a name to replace Lula’s in its presidential ticket until today, otherwise the party could no longer be allowed to take part in the elections.
The electoral authorities also ruled that the PT should remove any content made public with Lula appearing as candidate. The ticket may be invalidated in case of non-compliance.
A “Letter to the Brazilian people” is expected to be written by Lula and made public today. In the text, the former president is likely to express his support for Haddad and say the latter represents him as his successor.