De­fi­ant Lula read­ies pres­i­den­tial bid

The Washington Post - - THE WORLD -

Brazil’s for­mer pres­i­dent Luiz Iná­cio Lula da Silva will launch his bid for the pres­i­dency Jan. 25, re­gard­less of the out­come of an ap­pel­late court hear­ing on his cor­rup­tion con­vic­tion sched­uled for the day be­fore.

Lula’s bid is “an act of de­fi­ance” in re­sponse to political per­se­cu­tion, Alexan­dre Padilha, vice pres­i­dent of the Work­ers’ Party, said in an in­ter­view. Political par­ties will not of­fi­cially for­mal­ize their can­di­dates for Oc­to­ber’s elec­tions un­til Au­gust. Lula was sen­tenced to 91/ years

2 for graft and money laun­der­ing in July and faces a hand­ful of other crim­i­nal charges.

The for­mer pres­i­dent and his sup­port­ers say the charges against him are po­lit­i­cally mo­ti­vated and an at­tempt to stop him from re­turn­ing to power.

Lula leads the opin­ion polls for this year’s pres­i­den­tial elec­tion. If the ap­peals court upholds his con­vic­tion on Jan. 24, he may be barred from run­ning.

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