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On Friday, Brazil’s Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE) overruled a UN Human Rights Council (HRC) panel of independent experts.
In August, it ruled for former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva’s right to run for reelection in October – even though he’s imprisoned on trumped up corruption charges he and his legal team strongly deny.
The HRC panel called on Brazil’s ruling authorities “not to prevent him from standing for election in the 2018 presidential elections, until his appeals before the courts have been completed in fair judicial proceedings,” adding:
“Lula can enjoy and exercise his political rights while in prison, as candidate in the 2018 presidential elections.”
“This includes having appropriate access to the media and members of his political party.”
On Friday, the TSE ruled against Lula’s legitimate right to seek reelection by a 6 – 1 majority vote. Panel member Edson Fachin, supporting Lula’s electoral right, called the HRC’s ruling legally binding.
Anti-Lula judge Luis Barroso voted against his legitimate right, claiming he acted according to Brazil’s constitution and its so-called “clean slate” law.
It bars anyone convicted of serious crimes, corruption, or removed from office by impeachment, from seeking election, Barroso adding:
Lula’s guilt or innocence doesn’t matter, only his conviction, even if unjust, enough to bar him from seeking reelection, he claimed.
Lula’s legal team vowed to appeal the ruling in the nation’s Supreme Court. So did his Brazilian Workers Party, a statement saying:
“We will present all appeals before the courts for the recognition of the rights of Lula provided by law and international treaties ratified by Brazil. (W)e will defend Lula in the streets, with the people.”
A “Lula on the ballot box” for president Twitter campaign was launched. If unsuccessful, his Workers Party vice presidential candidate Fernando Haddad (a former academic and Sao Paulo mayor) may seek Brazil’s presidency in his stead.
On Friday, he tweeted:
“What is in play is the foundation of democracy. The right of the people to choose their president.”
US dirty hands are involved in Latin American politics and most elsewhere,