RIO DE JANEIRO – Brazil’s Attorney General Raquel Dodge filed on Wednesday an objection against the presidential candidacy of former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva before the Superior Electoral Court, after the Workers’ Party officially named him as its presidential candidate in the October election.
The prosecutor said in her objection filed to Supreme Court Justice Luis Roberto Barroso that Lula “is not eligible” because his conviction has been upheld on appeal, according to a statement posted on the Public Prosecutor’s Office’s website.
The Workers’ Party registered Lula on Wednesday as its presidential candidate even though he is serving a prison sentence of 12 years and one month on corruption charges, which bars him from running for office, according to the country’s laws.
Accused of receiving a luxury seaside apartment as a bribe in a massive corruption scandal at Brazilian state-run oil company Petrobras, Lula was sentenced to nine and a half years in prison by Judge Sergio Moro in a lower court for passive corruption and money laundering.
The Brazilian appeals court, Federal Regional Court of the 4th Region (TRF-4), subsequently upheld Judge Moro’s sentence and increased it to 12 years and one month, based on a law called the “Clean Sheet Act.”
According to a statement from the prosecutor’s office, Dodge said in the objection that the Superior Electoral Court “has already consolidated the understanding that convictions such as the one by the TRF-4 are cause for ineligibility.”
“The convicted will only retake the passive electoral rights eight years after fulfilling the sentence” and, in Lula’s case, he only began serving his sentence in April this year.
Dodge’s objection came after those previously filed by Kim Kataguiri, one of the leaders of the Free Brazil Movement and candidate for federal lawmaker from the Democratic Party, and by actor Alexandre Frota, who also vied for a seat in Lower House as the Social Liberal Party candidate.