Brazil party replaces Lula da Silva on presidential ballot

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Brazil’s Workers’ Party on Tuesday replaced former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva as its candidate for the Oct. 7 presidential vote.

After a meeting of Workers’ Party officials in the southern city Curitiba, where da Silva is jailed, two tweeted that former Sao Paulo Mayor Fernando Haddad was the new candidate. His vice presidential running mate will be Manuela D’Avila, a member of the Brazil Communist Party.

“Fernando Haddad and Manuela D’Avila are ready to fight for democracy. Are you?” tweeted Paulo Teixeira, a Congressman and vice president of the Workers’ Party.

A press conference and formal announcement were expected later in the afternoon.

Tuesday’s move, while long expected, was an acknowledgement that the party could not get da Silva on the ballot despite numerous attempts in the courts.

The party tried to leverage the decision of a U.N.-appointed human rights committee that said da Silva should be allowed to run. And in recent months, several international figures, such as former U.S. presidential candidate Bernie Sanders have said the case against da Silva was questionable and that he should be allowed on the ballot.

Da Silva is serving a 12-year sentence for trading favors with construction company Grupo OAS for the promise of a beachfront apartment. Da Silva has always denied wrongdoing, arguing this case and several others pending against him are meant to keep him off the ballot.

The man who led Brazil from 2003 to 2010 has easily led polls for more than a year, but his candidacy was barred by the country’s top electoral court.

Recent polls show Haddad far behind, but the party hopes he will now rise with da Silva’s endorsement.


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