Court majority blocks ex-president in Brazil

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Brazil's former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva was barred from running in this year's presidential election because of his corruption conviction.

Da Silva who once enjoyed wide spread popular support in Brazil had been convicted and incarcerated since April 2018 for receiving bribes.

A majority of justices on Brazil's electoral court voted late Friday to bar ex-President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva from running in October's presidential election, virtually ending any chance that the front-runner will get on the ballot.

Currently Haddad is candidate for vice president.

But his Workers Party registered him as its presidential candidate for the October 7 vote anyway, saying he is innocent.

"There is no margin here for the electoral court to make any other evaluation but the one showing there is a conviction, and that conviction matters in the candidate's eligibility", he said.

"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".

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A month before Brazilians go to the polls to vote in a presidential election, Brazil's top electoral court has ruled a popular former president jailed for corruption conviction, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, can not run. "We will defend Lula in the streets, with the people".

The lone opposing voice during the steamy session Justice Edson Fachin disagreed with his fellow justices, citing a recent call by a United Nations human rights committee calling for Lula to be allowed to run while he further appeals his conviction.

Lula's case was a last-minute addition to the Superior Electoral Court's extraordinary session, where seven magistrates in Brasilia began hearing it at 5:00 pm (2000 GMT). The text also pointed out that the TSE accelerated the deadlines to analyze the registration of the leader's candidacy in order to exclude him from the presidential race.

Supporters of the former Brazilian president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva attend a rally in Curitiba, Brazil, on August 30.

Lula da Silva was initially found guilty of the charges in July 2017.

If Lula is barred, his running mate Fernando Haddad, a former mayor of Sao Paulo, will head the ticket hoping to inherit the bulk of Lula's votes. But whether Lula can transfer his popularity to a replacement remains to be seen.

In the latest opinion polls, Lula was awarded 39 percent of voting intentions - 20 points ahead of his closest competitor, far-right former military officer Jair Bolsonaro.