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Brazil election scrambled even more with Lula prison order

Brazil election scrambled even more with Lula prison order

The verdict means that Lula da Silva may be jailed soon.

Brazil's highest court ruled on Thursday that former President Luiz InĂ¡cio Lula da Silva would not be allowed to remain free while he appeals his 12-year sentence for corruption.

Mr. Meirelles now doesn't work in the capacity, but he was. most recently an executive of one of the most prominent, popular financial institutions across the entirety of Brazil. He is the front-runner in all opinion polling for the election in October, though his conviction will likely bar him from running.

To them, Lula epitomizes Brazil's corruption-riddled elite. There is a "clean slate" law in Brazil that usually prohibits someone with a conviction that was upheld on appeal from running for office for eight years. The Superior Electoral Court could decide to make such an exception if Lula registers as a presidential candidate before the August 15 deadline.

Six hours into the session, four justices have voted against da Silva and one in his favor.

Lula, 72, was convicted by regional Judge Sergio Moro for passive corruption and money laundering, and his 10-year prison sentence was actually lengthened to more than 12 years during the appeal process.

Tensions increased on Tuesday when the commander of Brazil's army weighed in with tweets calling on the court to stand firm against impunity. It was a historic day for Brazilian politics too.

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"I assure the nation that the military, along with all good citizens, shares the desire of repudiation of impunity and respect for the Constitution, social peace and democracy."

Villas Boas wrote that the army would stick to its constitutional role.

The court made a decision to uphold a 2016 ruling that defendants should begin their sentence after their first appeal is rejected, contrary to Brazil's 1988 constitution that states convicts can remain free until all their appeals have been used. Sending Lula to prison could fatally cripple his election hopes, even if it is another court, the Superior Electoral Tribunal, that will rule on whether he can be on the ballot.

Lula's predictable imprisonment will have enormous political consequences as he leaves candidate who, according to all polls, leading voting preferences for upcoming presidential election, nearly out of electoral race.

His supporters see the conviction as a ploy to stop him returning to power.

Lula was sentenced to 12 years and one month in prison after being convicted last year of accepting a seaside apartment as a bribe from a major construction company seeking government contracts.