By André Richter
The Workers’ Party (PT) has submitted to Brazil’s Superior Electoral Court (TSE) the registration of ex-President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva as presidential hopeful in the upcoming general elections. Former Education Minister Fernando Haddad was named Lula’s running mate.
In the motion, Lula’s party declared to the authorities $2 million in assets under his possession, and $109 thousand under Haddad’s.
On April 7, Lula was taken to the Federal Police Superintendency, in Curitiba, south Brazil, where he is serving a prison sentence of 12 years and one month for corruption and money laundering as a result of a criminal case involving a triplex beachfront apartment in Guarujá, São Paulo state.
Theoretically, the former leader could be barred from running for office under the Clean Record Law, which targets those convicted by appellate courts. However, the request for his candidacy as well as his eligibility must be considered by the electoral court authorities. Registering Lula’s candidacy is the first step in this process.
Lula is seeking to become Brazil’s president for the third time. The onetime leader took office as president in the 2002 elections and was re-elected for another four years in 2006. He started his political career in 1980 as a union leader in São Bernardo do Campo, São Paulo, and is one of the founders of the PT.
The deadline for lodging candidacy requests ends this Wednesday (Aug. 15), and the court authorities are now expected to release a list with all registrations filed. Next, prosecutors, parties, and coalitions will be allowed to use the Clean Record Law to challenge any hopeful’s requests for candidacy.
Authorities have until September 17 to grant any motions filed to bar a candidate from taking part in the presidential race.