The Workers’ Party will hold its national convention on August 4, during which it plans to launch former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva as the party’s presidential nominee. On the same day, supporters are being asked to fast for a day – in solidarity with Lula’s most fervent defenders, who will hold a hunger strike against their leader’s incarceration. On April 7, he was arrested and began serving his 12-year sentence for corruption and money laundering.
After Saturday, Brazil will officially be in uncharted waters, having a presidential candidate behind bars and dealing with the possibility of him recording political ads from prison. The former president’s defense team works with a timetable that would allow him to, at the very least, continue as a candidate – even from jail – when the television and radio campaign kicks off in late August.
According to the lawyers representing Lula, even if the Superior Electoral Court denies him the right to a candidacy, appeals and possible procedural delays could keep the jailed politician on the ballot for longer. Despite official statements, neither Lula nor the Workers’ Party have much hope that he will remain a candidate on October 7, when voters will head to the polls. But keeping Lula on the race for now is crucial to the party’s strategy. We explain why: