Brazil's former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has appealed to the Supreme Court to annul a ruling blocking his cabinet appointment. The unfolding political crisis continues to polarize the country.
Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva lodged an appeal Sunday to the country's highest court to overturn a ruling preventing his appointment as cabinet chief.
Last week, a judge barred Silva from his appointment as chief of staff to his successor President Dilma Rousseff over suspicions that he sought out the post to escape arrest in a corruption investigation involving state oil company Petrobras.
The Lula Institute, Silva's personal foundation, lashed out at that ruling and what it called a "series of arbitrary actions" by the judiciary.
"Lula is not accused of any crime, even after an absolutely invasive investigation and the intimidation he has been subjected to in recent months," it said in a statement.
The head of the probe investigating the Petrobras scandal barred Silva's appointment to the cabinet on Friday.
As evidence in his ruling, the judge cited a tapped phone call between Rousseff and Silva in which the two discussed his cabinet appointment as a tactic to shield him from prosecution by granting ministerial immunity.
A separate poll found that 62 percent of lawmakers in the lower house of Congress think Rousseff will be impeached
Scandals threaten to taint Rousseff, Silva
Dogged by an economic recession, a widening corruption scandal, impeachment proceedings and massive protests, Rousseff may not survive her second term.
A poll published Sunday showed that out of nearly 2,800 respondents, 68 percent support impeachment of Rousseff. That's up 8 points since last month.
Silva, who stepped down in 2011, denies money laundering charges and has accused opponents of trying to stage a "coup" against Rousseff. The ensuing scandal has brought large numbers of pro- and anti-government demonstrators into the streets in recent days.
jar/cmk (AP, AFP)