Brazil's electoral court to decide whether Lula can run

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The left-leaning da Silva, who was hugely popular when he left office in 2010, started serving a 12-year-sentence for corruption and money laundering in April. His Workers Party registered him as its presidential candidate for the October 7 vote anyway, saying he is innocent.Lula is likely ineligible for office under Brazil's "Clean Slate" law, which prohibits candidates from running if they have convictions that have been upheld on appeal.

Brazil's top electoral court ruled Friday that jailed former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva can not run in this year's presidential election due to a corruption conviction.

Supporters of Brazilian former president (2003-2011) Luiz Inacio Lula Da Silva have demonstrated a vigil outside the Federal Police Superintendence in Curitiba, Brazil on Friday.

Top electoral court rules jailed former president can not run in October's election because of his graft conviction. He is the first presidential candidate to be barred from running due to the law. "There is no margin for the electoral court to make another decision".

"We will defend Lula in the streets, with the people, because he is a candidate of hope". "Today is D-Day. As of today, the Workers' Party will switch gears into plan B".

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Former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has been barred from Brazil's October presidential election by the country's electoral court despite easily leading in the polls - a ruling that adds uncertainty to the race to lead Latin America's largest nation, leaving no clear favorites. The party is widely expected to cast Lula's vice president, Fernando Haddad, as his replacement.

Lula's social media followers remain upbeat, though.

But da Silva and party have lost much of that appeal over the last several years due to a stumbling economy under his hand-picked successor Dilma Rousseff and a sprawling corruption probe that has ensnared many top businessmen and politicians, including da Silva. His conviction was upheld by an appeals court in January. "The best way to protect these efforts is through the strict legality and swift resolution of eventual disputes".

Lula has also received backing from the UN Human Rights Committee, which ruled that he can not be disqualified from the elections as his legal appeals are ongoing. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), signed a letter questioning the merits of Lula's imprisonment. "The fight against corruption must not be used to justify the persecution of political opponents or deny them the opportunity to freely participate in elections", the lawmakers wrote.

The decision could work to the advantage of extreme right-wing candidate Jair Bolsanaro, who is running second in the polls to Lula.