15 November 2019

 

Predictions

  • Release from prison of ex-president Lula will increase political polarisation but will not disrupt government economic reform agenda
  • Lula will galvanise political opposition, likely lead to increased…
  • Former president will however be unable to block…

 

Analysis

Former left-wing president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva was released from prison on 8 November after serving nineteen months of a twelve-year jail sentence for corruption and influence-peddling during his two successive terms in office between 2003 and 2011. His release was triggered by a Supreme Federal Court (STF) ruling the previous day that determined that defendants can remain at liberty until they have exhausted all avenues of appeal. The court did not quash Lula’s underlying conviction. Lula has insisted on his innocence prior to and since his imprisonment, which his supporters alleged was a political-judicial conspiracy to block his candidature in last year’s elections, which were won by incumbent President Jair Bolsonaro. In response to Lula’s release, Bolsonaro immediately described him as a “scoundrel”, while Lula countered that, under Bolsonaro, the country was governed by “paramilitaries”.

Lula’s release came after a narrow, 6-5 majority of STF magistrates overturned a three-year old decision that permitted judges to jail defendants if they lost a first appeal, even if further appeal options remained open. The issue has long been

Released Former Brazilian President, Lula Da Silva, participates in a demonstration at the Metallurgists Union

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