A Brazilian Supreme Court judge annulled corruption rulings against former leftist President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva on Monday, restoring the politician’s right to run for elections.
But the prosecutor general’s office is set to appeal the annulment, a spokesperson told the Reuters news agency.
The leftist leader’s party also said it was too early to celebrate as there were more legal steps ahead, according to the Brazilian news outlet Folha.
The 75-year-old politician, best known simply as Lula, was released in 2019 after appealing multiple convictions. He could not run for office with his criminal record.
Lula was charged with corruption and money laundering.
In 2014, a team of investigators, dubbed “Operation Car Wash,” was investigating prominent politicians suspected of corruption. Their findings brought down Lula.
He was convicted in 2017 with bribery for accepting a seaside apartment from a construction company in exchange for lucrative government contracts. A year later, another court found him guilty of corruption.
The former president has repeatedly denied corruption allegations, accusing prosecutors of preventing him from returning to office.
Lula is the co-founder of the leftist Worker’s Party (PT) in Brazil. During his presidency, Lula’s policies lifted millions of Brazilians out of poverty through generous social programs.
He has remained a popular figure on the left, even while in prison
If confirmed, Monday’s ruling threatens Brazil’s right-wing President Jair Bolsonaro’s re-election in 2022.
In 2018, the presidential election’s initial polls showed Lula to have around 39 percent of voter support, while Bolsonaro had 19 percent.
Lula’s supporters believe that the convictions against the leftist leader paved the way for Bolsonaro’s win. – AP-Reuters