The imprisoned former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio "Lula" da Silva has stepped down from Brazil`s presidential election to be held in next month. Instead of him, his former running mate Fernando Haddad has been declared as the presidential candidate.
Lula is currently serving 12 years of imprisonment for corruption. The former President announced his decision in such time when Brazil`s top electoral court barred his candidacy due to his corruption conviction less than two weeks ago.
The Workers` Party leader Gleisi Hoffman has announced the decision on Tuesday, according to international media. He read out a letter written by Lula to his supporters outside the country’s police headquarters.
This decision comes days after a far-right candidate was stabbed at a rally.
Lula da Silva has been the president of Brazil from 2003 to 2010. His supporters have been campaigning for his release for the last 5 months. After a long-fought legal battle on 31 August, Brazilian Superior Electoral Court (TSE) ruled that he was "ineligible" to run for the presidency. Lula`s lawyer and the Workers Party appealed against the decision, but the Supreme Court stayed firm on the decision.
Until Monday night, the Workers Party tried to keep Lula as the presidential candidate. Because despite being in prison Lula is very popular among the people. According to the data poll conducted by the polling firm Datafolha, about 40 percent of the voters said they would vote for Lula.
Meanwhile, Mr. Haddad who was the former Education Minister of Da Silva`s government has little recognition outside of São Paulo, where he served as mayor.