Brazil’s electoral system is highly digital. The election itself happens entirely through electronic voting machines – and results can be called within a couple of hours after counting has begun. The same goes for all the bureaucratic hoops parties must jump through in order to be a part of the process. The deadline for registering candidacies is today, a procedure which can be done online – a time and cost-saving alternative to going to the Superior Electoral Court, in Brasilia.
But, for the Workers’ Party, the simple act of registering their presidential bid is a political statement. The party’s leader, former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, remains its presidential nominee, despite being in prison. Supporters from different regions will hold a rally in front of the electoral court to ask for Lula “to be judged according to the law,” and not according to pressure from elites.
Officially, Lula is the Workers’ Party only plan for the presidency, and they will do whatever it takes to get Lula out of prison and on the campaign trail. Behind the scenes, though, neither the former president nor his closest allies believe in that outcome. With a corruption and money laundering conviction at a court of appeals, Lula is set to be declared ineligible for office. He just wants to stall the decision as much as possible, so there won’t be time to remove his picture from the voting machines.
This has happened before. When a candidate is barred close to election day, his or her name and picture remain on the ballot. That could boost the chances of his understudy, the former Mayor of São Paulo Fernando Haddad – who is officially Lula’s vice presidential nominee.