Two presidential polls were released on Monday, and both showed that the race remains unaltered even after the official start of the campaign and two nationally-televised debates. In prison since April 7 following a conviction for passive corruption and money laundering, former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva remains ahead with 37 percent of votes, followed by far-right candidate Jair Bolsonaro, with 18 percent.
While Lula will likely be excluded from the race due to his multiple criminal convictions, his name remains on the opinion polls because, formally, he is still a candidate. For him to be excluded from the presidential race, his candidacy must be rejected by the Superior Electoral Court, triggering a set of appeals which could drag the process on until mid-September, less than a month before the country goes to the polls.
Electoral Justices have decided to approach his case in the most conservative way possible, to avoid having a big chunk of the electorate questioning the election’s legitimacy. If the courts move at a fast pace against the politician, it will only serve to fuel the Workers’ Party’s discourse that a conspiracy is underway to keep Lula off the ballot.