By a unanimous vote, the Brazilian Superior Electoral Tribunal (TSE) voted to accept presidential candidate for the Workers Party(PT) Fernando Haddad’s request to use his predecessor, ex President Luiz Inacio Lula’s image in his campaign.
Brazil: Haddad Says Lula Will Not Accept a Pardon
With a 7 to 0 vote, the TSE announced Tuesday evening its decision to allow Haddad continue using Lula’s image in television and radio promotions ahead of the October 7 elections.
The lawsuit was brought to the tribunal by Social Liberal Party (PSL) candidate Jair Messias Bolsonaro who felt Lula’s presence in the campaign might confuse voters.
According to one legal professional Angelo Longo Ferraro, “There is, in fact, a fear of the presence of the former President Lula as a supporter, precisely because of the effect he has (on the public). So what is in the background, in fact, is an attempt to censor the presence of President Lula in any and all electoral program.”
Lula handed over his presidential candidacy to his running mate, Haddad, at a PT event in front of the prison in which the former president has been held since April over a controversial corruption conviction. Many legal experts believe, in accordance with Brazil’s constitution, that Lula, who has easily led all presidential election polls, shouldn’t have been prevented from participating in the elections until all of his legal appeals have been exhausted.
Having received the political baton from the most popular politician in Brazil, Haddad concluded that his government wants to "reinforce the objective of wanting to build a country based on peace and harmony. One that’s orientated towards the workers of Brazil."
Recent polls show Haddad and Bolsonaro with high voter support of 19 percent and 28 percent respectively, the Brazilian Institute of Public Opinion and Statistics (Ibope) reported in its latest survey.