Lula's convictions annulled in Brazil, raising chance of 2022 run
A Brazilian Supreme Court judge annulled criminal convictions against former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva on Monday, per Reuters.
Why it matters: The move allows the popular leftist politician to run in next year's presidential election in a potentially polarizing face-off against President Jair Bolsonaro, a far-right populist who has defended Brazil's military dictatorship.
Details: Justice Edson Fachin ruled that a court in the southern city of Curitiba lacked the authority to try Lula on corruption charges, stating that Lula must be retried in federal courts in the capital Brasilia.
- Lula was convicted of accepting bribes in exchange for public contracts in 2018. He spent a year and a half in jail until the Supreme Court decided he could appeal his case without serving a sentence.
- His legal team said Monday the judge's decision affirms that Lula is innocent, per Reuters.
For the record: Lula and his supporters have argued that the criminal cases that led to his downfall were politically driven.
- Leaked conversations in 2019 showed that the judge who oversaw Lula's case gave prosecutors guidance on strategy in violation of rules of conduct.
Of note: Bolsonaro told reporters Monday he hoped the decision would be overturned by the full Supreme Court, according to Reuters.
- The office of Brazil's prosecutor general said it plans to appeal the decision.
The big picture: Lula, who remains well-loved by the working class, is the only one of 10 potential 2022 candidates who outperformed Bolsonaro in a survey published last week, per Reuters.