Lula declares his presidential candidacy from jail: The destiny of Brazil is in the ballot box and not the coups
Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva became the President of Brazil in 2002 when he won the elections with a clear majority. The reason for such a clean sweep was his progressive development manifestation and his hope to change and transform the country similar to that on any European or Western countries. The Presidentship under Lula is considered to be a flourishing one, as he is the first elected President from the Labour Party who had pledged towards development and the minimum wage was considered to have increased to 50% over a matter of just 8 years. But this wasn’t all about Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva as soon he was charged with high corruption and money laundering, finally, in July 2017 he was sentenced for 12 years in prison by the biggest anti-corrupt judge of Brazil, Sergio Moro. Thus, from being the first elected President from the Labour Party, he became the first Jailbird President.
Though he was imprisoned in April 2018, Lula had accepted all his charges and taking a ‘seaside apartment as bribe from a Brazilian construction company, OAS’ as was reported by the ‘Telegraph, UK’. In a recent report that Lula himself wrote to the ‘New York Times’, he recalls that the whole corruption scandal was a way of the opposition to throw him from power and install a ‘right-wing coup’ and to stand between him and a progressive Brazil. Although he was released in between as his cabinet somehow managed to prove him guilty free, a debate started between the various courts in Brazil, demanding a proper investigation of the case. The Brazilian Supreme Court removed Lula’s appeal from the agenda and the lower courts mentioned that the top courts only gave validation upon constitutional matters. The case which by May 2018, was considered to be the ‘biggest corruption scandal in modern history’ took a completely different turn, as this time not only Lula but his former Finance Minister with two other political figures were charged on collecting $40 million from the Odebrecht conglomerate. The political leaders were found to have been taking money in exchange for the political favour, and some contracts with the Petrobras oil company were discovered upon further investigation. He mentions to the New YorkTimes that it was he who himself decided to say what the courts and his opposition wanted to hear.
The President who had been writing the World Cup commentary from his prison cell declared his Presidentship candidacy for the October elections. The polling patterns are now being determined as the Electoral Office has predicted that a ‘fifth of voters’ would not turn up for the first-round if Lula’s candidacy is cancelled. Thousands of supporters showed up in front of the jail assuring the ‘jailbird’ that despite such allegations the country decides to stand him and support his developmental strides. The Electoral judges are now questioning his candidacy stating that it is completely ‘unconstitutional’ and goes against the practice of ‘clean law’. Competing against Lula is Jair Bolsonaro, a right-wing worshiper and retired army official. News has it that his candidacy is still under scrutiny and if it were at all to be disqualified Lula’s deputy, Fernando Haddad will be in the race against Bolsonaro. Seeing the massive support of his countrymen, Lula sent his words through the deputy where he connected to the people saying that the country needs to make decisions in the ballot box and not in joining coups. Although democracy in Brazil might have lost its way, Lula hopes to continue dreaming of delivering his people the life they deserve.
*Arijita Sinha Roy is a Research Intern at The Kootneeti