Lula’s Answer to His Conviction for Corruption: Launching Candidacy to President

The former Brazilian president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva responded defiantly to his conviction on corruption charges by formally launching his candidacy for next year’s presidential election.

In an impassioned speech at his Workers’ party headquarters in São Paulo the day after federal judge, Sergio Moro, sentenced him to nine years and six months in jail, Brazil’s first working-class president warned: “Whoever thinks this is the end of Lula is in for a shock.”

As well as denouncing Moro’s ruling, he attacked the prosecutors who built the case against him, as well as the country’s media and political elite.

In the latest ratcheting up of the country’s increasingly polarized political debate, Lula said, to cheers from militants gathered in the street below:

“Lords of the big house, let someone from the slave quarters do what you have no competence to do in this country. Let someone look after this people, because it doesn’t need to be governed by the elite.”

If Wednesday’s sentence is upheld in a higher federal court Lula will be barred from holding any elected office. The judge decided to allow Lula to remain at liberty while he appeals the ruling.

At the Workers’ Party meeting its president, Gleisi Hoffmann, warned: “Any election without the participation of President Lula is a fraud.”

Although his rejection rating in polls is above 50%, Lula is the front runner in next year’s presidential race. His removal would pose a major challenge for the Workers’ Party. Engulfed in corruption scandals, it has no competitive candidate to replace him.

Lula was convicted of corruption and money laundering after Moro accepted the argument of federal prosecutors that he was the ultimate owner of a beachfront triplex apartment, having received it from a construction company in return for favors at Petrobras, Brazil’s semi-state oil giant.

Lula denies the accusation, saying the conviction relies on the word of company executives who gave false testimony against him in order reduce their own sentences for corruption. He challenged his detractors to provide “a single proof against me”. “I’d be happier if I was convicted because of some evidence,” he said.

An appeal could take between six and 18 months. The higher federal court responsible for reviewing Judge Moro’s sentences in the sprawling anti-corruption operation that started as an investigation into wrongdoing at Petrobras has so far upheld about two-thirds of his rulings.

Mercopress

Tags:

Ads

You May Also Like

I Fear Brazil Might Become a New Iraq. But Much Worse

Congressional representatives of the oligarchy in Brazil began to strategize the impeachment of former ...

Brazil Wants to Sweep Corruption Charges Under the Rug, Says Fired Attorney General

The former attorney general of Brazil said he believes the government of Michel Temer ...

A gang of 16 dug a sophisticated 600-meter tunnel equipped with lights.

Brazil Police Foil What Would Be World’s Biggest Bank Robbery Ever

A criminal gang dug a 600-meter (2000-foot) tunnel in an attempt to rob 1 ...

Students Prison in Brazil Had Help from Infiltrated Army Captain

The Brazilian man accused of infiltrating a group of students opposed to the government ...

President Wants to Welcome Again Foreigners to Own Land and Airlines in Brazil

Brazilian President Michel Temer will propose legislation to lift restrictions on foreign ownership of ...

Too Much Honesty and Not Enough Friends Brought Brazil’s President Down

Personally incorruptible, unlike her nemeses, Dilma Rousseff was impeached and dismissed on the flimsiest ...

Brazilian First Lady Marcela Temer and her husband - Beto Barata/PR

Brazil President Celebrates Women’s Day Reminding a Lady’s Place Is in the Kitchen and the Supermarket

Brazilian President Michel Temer delivered a speech Wednesday at his presidential palace in Brazilian ...