Lula conviction leaves Brazil’s presidential race wide open
If the charismatic former president cannot run for president after being found guilty of accepting bribes to upgrade his holiday home, the election is up for grabs
Brasilia — The graft conviction on Wednesday of former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, a front-runner for next year’s presidential election, opened the door for an outsider to take power in Latin America’s largest country, political experts said. Lula, a giant on the Brazilian political scene who led Brazil from 2003 to 2011, has said he wants to run for president again next year. But if his nearly 10-year sentence is upheld on appeal, Lula, a founder of the leftist Workers Party, would be barred from seeking office again for eight years, beginning after any jail time is complete. Lula, 71, is among a raft of Brazilian elites toppled by an epic corruption scandal that has battered the nation’s economy, engulfed every major party and deepened public cynicism about politics. It’s a toxic mix that has enraged voters, who are searching for someone to lead them out of the political and economic wilderness. "Brazil is now as polarised as the US, it really has been for years...
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