Brazil's top electoral court will begin deliberations Friday on whether former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva should be barred from running in this year's presidential election, according to a statement on the court's website. The ruling comes after the UN Human Rights Committee appealed to the Brazilian government, asking it to allow the former president to exercise his political rights. "Fernando Haddad, former mayor of Sao Paulo", he said.
The majority of the court agreed with Barroso that the United Nations recommendation could not supersede a "clean slate" law that bars candidates who have been convicted of serious crimes.
But he is adored by millions of Brazilians due to the prosperity Brazil enjoyed under his leadership from 2003 to 2010.
Da Sila who is a former Trade Union Leader as well as a former President is now serving a 12-year prison sentence for accepting a luxury seaside apartment as a bribe from a construction firm. Lula is the highest-profile figure to be charged in the so-called "car wash" investigation, a sprawling corruption probe that has brought down some of Brazil's most powerful businessmen and politicians over the last five years. Former US president Barack Obama once called him the "most popular politician on earth".
With da Silva out of the race, Haddad was expected to take his place on the Workers' Party ticket.
An appeal in January not only saw the court uphold his original conviction, but also increase the length of the sentence by two-and-a-half years.
Polls show tepid support for the vice presidential running mate Haddad's bid, but the party hopes Lula's popularity could boost the former mayor's hopes.
A supporter of Brazil's Former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, sports a T-shirt with da Silva's image on it during a protest in front of the Superior Electoral Tribunal, as the trial against the candidacy of the jailed former president continues, in Brasilia, Brazil, Friday, Aug. 31, 2018.
"We will present all appeals before the courts for the recognition of the rights of Lula provided by law and global treaties ratified by Brazil".
Lula's case was a last-minute addition to the court session.
Luis Roberto Barroso, the investigating judge in the case, accepted the objections against Lula's candidature based on a law known as the "clean sheets act".