A Brazilian Supreme Court judge on Monday annulled the criminal convictions against former leftist President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.
The annulment of the convictions related to the Car Wash operation will allow the popular Socialist leader to run again for next year’s presidential elections.
“The election starts today … It’s virtually impossible Lula won’t be a candidate,” said Thomas Traumann, a Rio de Janeiro-based political observer. “In American terms, it’s going to be like Sanders versus Trump.”
The Valor Econômico, Brazil’s leading financial newspaper, declared: “Lula is back in the game.”
Brazil’s Supreme Court Judge Edson Fachin on Monday overturned all convictions related to the Car Wash operation that the Federal Justice in the state of Parana held against Workers’ Party leader Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.
Fachin declared that the Federal Justice of Parana was not competent in the cases related to the Guaruja apartment, the Atibaia site, and the Lula Institute.
The decision roiled financial markets and scrambled forecasts for the 2022 race, with many investors betting it would polarize voters between President Jair Bolsonaro, a far-right populist, and Lula, his greatest opponent on the left.
Once that decision is issued, however, such cases may be analyzed by the Federal District Court, which will be in charge of saying whether the acts performed in the three cases may or may not be validated and reused.
In the meantime, Judge Fachin’s decision allows Brazil’s former President to recover his political rights and become eligible again.
Lula, 75, governed Latin America’s biggest country and largest economy between 2003 and 2011, overseeing a commodities boom that turbocharged economic growth.
In 2018, he was convicted of taking bribes from engineering firms in return for public contracts and spent a year and a half behind bars, until the Supreme Court ruled he and others could appeal their cases without serving time.