Lula: Brazil's jailed ex-leader barred from presidential race by electoral court

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Lula: Brazil's jailed ex-leader barred from presidential race by electoral court

Lula has received backing from the UN Human Rights Committee, which two weeks ago ruled that he can not be disqualified from the elections as his legal appeals are ongoing.

The judges from the Supreme Electoral Court on Friday ruled six to one against the once highly popular leader who was leading in the polls for the upcoming elections, Efe news reported. "There is no margin for the electoral court to make another decision".

Last month, a group of United Nations-appointed human rights experts urged Brazilian authorities to allow Lula to run until he exhausts all appeals.

Moments after the court's pronouncement was announced, members of Da Silva's Workers Party reiterated their will to secure his candidacy by any means possible.

His Workers' Party (PT in Portuguese) called the decision arbitrary and politically motivated, adding that it would appeal the electoral court's ruling. The party stressed, 'We are going to defend Lula in the streets, along with the people, because he is the candidate of hope".

Lula, Brazil's most popular politician, is serving a 12-year sentence for a corruption conviction.

He was found guilty in July 2017 and then lost his first appeal in January. His Workers Party registered him as its presidential candidate for the October 7 vote anyway, saying he is innocent.Lula is likely ineligible for office under Brazil's "Clean Slate" law, which prohibits candidates from running if they have convictions that have been upheld on appeal. His Workers Party registered him as its presidential candidate for the October vote anyway, saying he is innocent.

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Former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva speaks during a rally in Curitiba, Brazil, March 28, 2018.

Despite his conviction and several graft cases pending against him, Lula leads the race by a long stretch, with 39 percent of voter support, according to pollster Datafolha.

With da Silva out of the race, former Sao Paulo Mayor Fernando Haddad was expected to take his place on the Workers' Party ticket.

Currently Haddad is candidate for vice president.

The end of Lula's candidacy opens the electoral field to runner-up Jair Bolsonaro, a right-wing congressman and former soldier whose platform includes gun legalization and weaker environmental regulations.

Polls show tepid support for the vice presidential running mate Haddad's bid, but the party hopes Lula's popularity could boost the former mayor's hopes.

The court will also decide whether or not Lula can appear in television commercials that are due to begin circulating on Friday.

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