A Brazilian court concluded Wednesday to uphold the trial against the former Brazil President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, accused since July 2017, for money laundry and corruption. He’s known for having been the most popular president in the modern history of the South-American country. This event could interfere with the plans he gave to known on last year: running for his third term.

Lula can still appeal to a higher court the decision that two out of three judges took today in the city of Porto Alegre. However, he wouldn’t be able to postulate in this October’s presidential election – in which, as some local media claim, would be the favorite to win just as he was in his previous government.

The court in the city of Porto Alegre concluded that Lula had accepted a full-furniture apartment at the coast from OAS, a construction company, which was involved in a broad corruption scheme.

Former Brazil President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, Corruption and money laundry, Construction company apartment
The most popular Brazilian President was accused of corruption and money laundry. Image credit: Associated Press

Previously, it was said that Lula was going to be sentenced nine-and-a-half years in prison. However, the two judges voted to extend that time to 12 years and one month. They need the third vote, which would change the entire panorama shown today.

Getulio Vargas Foundation in Rio de Janeiro’s professor in electoral law, Silvana Betini, said that the court only needed “two to one” vote to condemn Lula. However, she noted that the decision of the third judge is still essential because it would enlarge the range of options for the former Brazil President.

In front of this decision, Lula said the only way he would stop fighting “for the dignity of the Brazilian people” was if he were dead.

A possible third term

After Lula served his two mandates from 2003-2010, he helped his friend Workers’ party successor Dilma Rousseff to win the two following periods.

Lula would not be able to run for his third term in the October 7 elections if he lost this trial. As the law demands, no person is allowed to run for office if it has been convicted. However, Lula’s lawyer says that he still has a series of options he could take, so any further claiming would be too hurried.

Former Brazil President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, Corruption and money laundry, Construction company apartment
Lula and Workers’ party successor Dilma Rousseff. Image credit: EFE

Likewise, this ban is not definite because the former President could ask the Supreme Court to lift it. If this one accepts it, he would be able to run for office. However, he also would need to register his candidacy by 15 August, so the time is running for him.

Before becoming elected president in 2003, Lula promised to end with the corrupted politics of his country. However, he faced big troubles in 2005 after the local media told that several people had sold their votes for Lula.

He created a series of billionaires social programs, making him win popularity among the poor people.

What put Lula under the lens was the Operation Car Wash, considered as one of the biggest corruption scandals in the Brazilian history.

Source: BBC