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Former President Lula da Silva planned to run for president from prison, but Brazil’s Supreme Court ruled that he cannot and now his Workers Party must scramble to put forward its replacement candidate, Fernando Haddad. Mike Fox reports from Brazil

Story Transcript

MIKE FOX: Brazil’s Supreme Electoral Court has barred former President Luis Inacio Lula da Silva from running in this year’s presidential elections. If you remember, Lula has been ahead in the polls, well ahead in the polls, since polling began. And the big question is, will he be able to pass over that support to his running mate Fernando Haddad. Fernando Haddad is now going to become the new presidential candidate for the Worker’s Party.

Lula was barred from running due to clean slate rules. According To Brazilian law, candidates who have been convicted of corruption or other crimes cannot run for office for up to eight years. Lula, if you remember, was convicted last year of accepting a beachside apartment from a company seeking government contracts. He’s been serving time since April. His supporters say he’s innocent. Roughly half the country believes he’s innocent, and that this has been a ruse in order to stop him from returning to power and bringing with him his poverty alleviation programs, social programs, leftist programs that were so popular from 2002-2010 and then on with his successor Dilma Rousseff.

We’re going to see what happens in the coming weeks, in the coming months ahead of the October 7 election. Again, the big question, will Lula be able to transfer that support to Haddad? Now, that’s going to be hard, considering Lula is in jail and hasn’t been able to give any interviews since he went in here in April. But according to many of the polls, Lula’s supporters are willing to vote for whoever is chosen in his place. And so that really could push Haddad into one of the top positions.

But this is what we’re going to see in the next couple of weeks. There are many questions, and we’re going to be following this story.

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Michael Fox is a Latin America-based media maker and the former director of video production at teleSUR English.