Former President Lula has been deemed unfit to run for the presidency and has had the registration of his candidacy rejected by the TSE.
In fact, the decision of the Superior Electoral Court to contest PT’s Lula’s claim to run for the Presidency restores normalcy to the electoral campaign, since the question was a no-brainer from the start even for those not seasoned in legal procedures: a candidate convicted by a judicial body cannot claim to hold an public office, as this is clearly stated in Complementary Law 135/2010 – the Clean Record Act. Thus, Lula’s candidacy was downright an offense on the law, that is, Lula, with a dirty record, is glaringly ineligible. In this vein, as a candidate, Lula is past, a turned page… especially in Minister Barroso’s understanding, wherein the TSE’s decision as “definitive”.
However, PT’s lawyers claim that there are appeals and that the STJ and STF may come to suspend ineligibility, even after the TSE’s decision. In addition, they seek any whisper of hope in the votes of Ministers Edson Fachin and Rosa Weber, once Fachin has shown that PT’s thesis (abiding by the “decision” of the UN Human Rights Committee) is defensible and Rosa Weber made clear that until the STF comes to an agreement, Lula should be able to keep his candidacy. In addition, in an absolutely inexplicable move, the TSE decided that the coalition could continue with the campaign adds, provided that Lula does not engage in the campaign directly until the full replacement of his candidacy is carried out.
The incontestable fact is that all the havoc created around this seems to have been premeditated, aiming to turn the Brazilian judicial courts into electoral platform. In this sense, the institutions did speak out. At such a crucial moment for the country, the TSE has shown a decisiveness and speed – both essential in the face of the tight deadlines within a much shorter electoral campaign than the previous ones -, and it is hoped that there will be no further proceedings in higher courts.
It is part of the democratic game to exhaust all possibilities, and the PT has already claimed it will appeal the decision of the TSE and will fight for Lula’s candidacy “by all means”. However, for Lula this is enough … he can, and he is likely to abundantly help (from his prison cell) his protégé, given his “immense relevance” in the process, but the clarity of the platforms running and the process itself are also given, and Lula is out of the race. Let’s just hope that the electoral turmoil thus far experienced soon dissipates and that the opening sentence of this former Minister Pedro Malan’s comment, as disconcerting as it is unlikely, does not apply to this moment: “In Brazil, even the past is uncertain.”
To read full report in the original format, click here.