Sao Paulo, March 9 (AFP/APP): An ex-metalworker who became one of Brazil’s most popular presidents, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva fell spectacularly from grace when he was jailed for corruption, but could now make a political comeback after a judge overturned his convictions.
Monday‘s ruling by Supreme Court Justice Edson Fachin restores the 75-year-old leftist icon’s right to run for office — potentially just in time for a showdown against his nemesis, far-right President Jair Bolsonaro, in elections next year. Known for his charisma and common man’s touch, Lula left office on January 1, 2011 as a blue-collar hero who presided over a watershed boom and helped lift tens of millions of people out of poverty.
But he has been embroiled in a massive corruption scandal that has engulfed some of Brazil’s most influential politicians and business executives. Lula was jailed in 2018 — sidelining him from the race that brought Bolsonaro to power — and spent more than 18 months in prison before being freed pending appeal.
In a procedural decision, Fachin ruled that the court that convicted Lula lacked jurisdiction, and sent four cases against him to another federal court, in Brasilia. The ruling landed like a bomb just as Brazil gears up for the October 2022 elections, for which a recent poll gave Lula the most likely votes — the only politician to outperform Bolsonaro.
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