As Lula is convicted again, Brazil faces an uncertain election

Lula speaks to a crowd of supporters on the eve of his trial R Stuckert IL

Lula speaks to a crowd of supporters on the eve of his trial. Photo: R Stuckert/IL

“We will beat the Workers’ Party, no matter who their candidate is,” declared São Paulo’s Governor Geraldo Alckmin this Tuesday at a political event. Alckmin’s words attest to a sentiment shared by other politicians in the Brazilian right: everybody, apparently, wants to face off with Lula in the election.

And we’re calling bullshit.

Like him or hate him, Lula remains an electoral juggernaut. Even after being charged in seven different criminal cases. Or being convicted of corruption and money laundering. Or having that conviction confirmed by a court of appeals. Today, a panel of three judges believed that the justice system was right to convict Lula for allegedly accepting a kickback from OAS, a construction company.

Still, if the election were today, he would win – and it wouldn’t be that close of a contest.

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An award-winning journalist with experience covering Brazilian politics and international affairs. His work has been featured across Brazilian and French media outlets.