Brazil’s Lula can appear in pre-election polls

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Brasilia, Aug 31 (IANS) Brazil’s Superior Electoral Court has rejected a request to keep former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva out of opinion polls in the lead-up to the October presidential race.

Judge Tarcisio Viera de Carvalho Neto denied the motion, which asked for polling firms’ removal of Lula’s name from the roster of candidates until the court validates his candidacy, Xinhua news agency reported.

The two-time president is currently serving a 12-year prison sentence for corruption, but the Workers’ Party has nevertheless chosen him as its candidate.

As Brazil’s Clean Record Act bars anyone with a conviction from running for elected office, the court is expected to make a decision on his eligibility to run.

The UN Human Rights Commission on Friday requested a guarantee of Lula’s political rights, including access to the press and to members of his party.

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On August 23, the court gave Lula seven days to argue his case for eligibility.

Opinion polls have consistently shown Lula leading the field of candidates, with some 38-per cent support among the electorate.

–IANS

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