1. Skip to content
  2. Skip to main menu
  3. Skip to more DW sites

Brazil: Judge annuls convictions against Lula da Silva

March 8, 2021

A Brazilian court has cleared criminal convictions against former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, allowing the leftist leader to run in next year's presidential election.

Former Brazilian president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva speaks during a ceremony
Lula served as president from 2003 to 2010Image: Daniel Pier/Nur Photo/picture alliance

A Brazilian Supreme Court judge annulled corruption rulings against former leftist President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva on Monday, restoring the politician's right to run for elections. 

But the prosecutor general's office is set to appeal the annulment, a spokesperson told the Reuters news agency.

The leftist leader's party also said it was too early to celebrate as there were more legal steps ahead, according to the Brazilian news outlet Folha. 

The 75-year-old politician, best known simply as Lula, was released in 2019 after appealing multiple convictions. He was not able to run for office with his criminal record. 

What were the charges against Lula?

Lula was charged with corruption and money laundering.

In 2014, a team of investigators, dubbed Operation Car Wash, investigated prominent politicians suspected of corruption,and their findings brought down Lula.

He was convicted in 2017 for bribery after accepting a seaside apartment from a construction company in exchange for lucrative government contracts. A year later, another court found him guilty of corruption. 

The former president has repeatedly denied the corruption allegations, accusing prosecutors of preventing him from returning to office.

Brazil's Lula bows out of race

Who is Lula?

Lula is the co-founder of Brazil's leftist Worker's Party (PT). During his presidency, Lula's policies lifted millions of Brazilians out of poverty through generous social programs.  

He has remained a popular figure on the left, even while in prison.

If confirmed, Monday's ruling threatens the reelection of Brazil's right-wing President Jair Bolsonaro in 2022. 

In 2018, the presidential election's initial polls showed Lula to have around 39% of voter support, while Bolsonaro had 19%.  

Lula's supporters believe the convictions against the leftist leader paved the way for Bolsonaro's win.

fb/dj (AP, Reuters)