RIO DE JANEIRO – Brazil’s Superior Electoral Court (TSE) confirmed on Thursday that former President Dilma Rousseff has the right to vie for a Senate seat in the Oct. 7 elections.
The TSE confirmed, with the unanimous vote of its seven members, the decision announced last month by the Electoral Tribunal of the southeastern state of Minas Gerais to allow Rousseff to run in the face of a dozen legal challenges.
Those challenges contended that Rousseff should be barred from running for office because she was impeached by Congress in 2016 for budget irregularities when she was president.
According to the plaintiffs, the impeachment, which led Rousseff to be removed from power, barred her from running for office for eight years.
The TSE, however, cited the fact that, following her ouster, the Senate voted to maintain Rousseff’s political rights.
Rousseff, who is running for the center-left Workers Party (PT), is leading the polls for the Minas Gerais Senate seat ahead of Sunday’s election.
The other Brazilian former president from the PT, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who was leading the polls for this year’s presidential election, was barred from running for office as he is currently in jail on a corruption conviction.
After being barred by electoral authorities, Lula chose former Cabinet minister Fernando Haddad to be the PT presidential candidate.
Haddad is in second place in the polls, behind far-right candidate Jair Bolsonaro.
The polls suggest that neither Bolsonaro nor Haddad will have the necessary votes to win outright in the Oct. 7 election, and will have to compete in a runoff election on Oct. 28.