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Brazil leans toward unsparing vision of far-right Bolsonaro

October 09, 2018

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — The far-right former army captain who looks likely to become Brazil’s next president promised nothing short of a complete overhaul of Latin America’s largest nation, vowing Monday to combat the evils of corruption by gutting government ministries and privatizing state companies. He also pledged to promote traditional values that would roll back the rights of gays and other minorities.

With his pledge of “Brazil above all,” Jair Bolsonaro has catapulted from the fringes of Congress, where he served as a member of marginal parties for 27 years, to a stone’s throw from the presidency. A rabble rouser who has reminisced fondly about dictatorship and promised an all-out war on drugs and crime, he just missed outright victory in Sunday’s vote and will face former Sao Paulo Mayor Fernando Haddad of the leftist Workers’ Party in an Oct. 28 runoff.

Bolsonaro only needs a few more points to secure victory, and Haddad’s supporters vowed Monday to launch a tough fight to make up ground after their candidate finished a distant second. The election was a seismic shift for this nation of more than 200 million people, where the left has won the past four elections but deep divisions have opened in the wake of a massive corruption scandal and the 2016 impeachment of then-President Dilma Rousseff. Brazil’s move fits into a global trend among voters — in the United States and Europe, among other places — who are choosing anti-establishment and often far-right or populist candidates who target minorities and promise a return to “traditional values.”

“The evils and damages of corruption hurt the people in many ways. It’s they who don’t have a bed in the hospital, who don’t have security in the streets or money in their pockets,” Bolsonaro tweeted Monday. “A corrupt government encourages crime in all spheres.”

His solution? “Reduce the number of ministries, get rid of and privatize state companies, fight fraud in (a popular social welfare program for low-income families) … decentralize power giving more economic force to the states and municipalities,” he said on Twitter, one of his favorite forms of communicating.

Bolsonaro’s Social and Liberal Party was a tiny, fringe group until the candidate began surging in the polls through his use of social media and carefully orchestrated rallies. Bolsonaro has often praised Donald Trump, and his campaign took many pages from the U.S. president’s playbook, from his echoing of Trump’s “America First” slogan, to bashing the mainstream media to using the candidate’s adult children as proxies.

Bolsonaro’s party took a whopping 52 seats in the lower house of Congress — up from just one in the last election — giving it 10 percent of that house and making it the second-largest party after the Workers’ Party, with 56.

If elected, Bolsonaro has promised a total overhaul of Brazil’s government. The proposals that have attracted the most attention — and criticism — focus on how he would slash rising crime rates. Brazil has long been the world leader in homicides, with a record 63,880 people slain last year, according the Brazilian Public Security Forum, an independent think tank.

To this thorny problem, Bolsonaro has proposed simple solutions: Give police more freedom to shoot first and give ordinary people freer access to guns. Critics have expressed concern that police violence, already a major contributor to the high homicide rate, will only worsen if police are given carte blanche.

“Bolsonaro is very good at picking a one-sentence summary of the issue and a one-sentence solution to the issue and then one name to resolve it,” said Matthew Taylor, an associate professor of Latin American politics at American University.

While Brazilians say that deteriorating security is one of their major concerns, crime — and efforts to crack down on it — have become almost a metaphor in Bolsonaro’s campaign. He has painted a Brazil not only at war with criminals but, in many ways, with itself.

Bolsonaro often uses crime as a lens through which to sketch out a broad indictment of the left: What he calls its coddling policies toward the poor, marginalized and criminal and its push to protect the rights of minorities at what he says is the expense of the majority.

He has vowed to end the designation of indigenous lands, saying such reserves impede development and give special privilege to native peoples that others don’t get. His education policy calls for removing “premature sexualization” from schools, a nod to criticism from the right that “leftist ideas” like sex education have taken hold in the curriculum and morality is absent.

In an interview Monday with a friendly radio station, Bolsonaro indicated he would not change his hard-line views on issues like gay marriage. The constitution “recognizes the stable union between a man and a woman,” he said, adding: “We can’t think that gays can have super powers” to influence laws.

Many are concerned that his veneration of the armed forces, including his praise of the country’s 1964-1985 dictatorship, signal that he will erode democratic values and rule with an authoritarian hand. He has said he will surround himself with former military officers, like his running mate who is a retired general.

In an interview late Monday with Brazil’s most watched TV news program, Bolsonaro pledged to be “a slave of the constitution.” “My administration will have authority, not authoritarianism,” he said. While Bolsonaro was expected to come out in front Sunday, he far outperformed predictions, blazing past competitors who had more financing, the institutional backing of traditional parties and much more free air time on television. His first-place finish with 46 percent of the vote — just short of the 50 percent-plus needed for an outright win — came after an unpredictable campaign in which the front-runner, former President Luiz Inacio da Silva, was barred from running after being jailed on a corruption conviction.

Bolsonaro himself was stabbed and forced to campaign from a hospital bed for several weeks. But the attack allowed him to pick and choose his media appearances and largely speak to his supporters through social media. He will likely face much tougher scrutiny and questioning by reporters over the next three weeks.

Supporters of Haddad, who got 29 percent of the vote, promised a tough fight Monday that included forcing Bolsonaro to engage in policy debates. Brazilians have a lot to be angry about. Since 2014, they’ve watched slack-jawed as prosecutors detailed how many in government manipulated public contracts and promised favors in exchange for billions of dollars in kickbacks and bribes. Much of that focused on the Workers’ Party, and many voters cited a desire to root out corruption in their choice of Bolsonaro.

Brazil has also just emerged from a protracted recession, unemployment is high and crime is rising. Haddad has leaned on a narrative of returning to better times: He promises to bring back the boom times Brazil experienced under his mentor, da Silva, and has portrayed an unequal society hijacked by an elite that can’t bear to see the lives of poor people improve. He has promised to fight those inequalities, invest more in education and improve state services.

“Public security is a public service, to give guns to the population is to exempt the state from protecting citizens,” Haddad told reporters Monday after he visited da Silva in jail.

DiLorenzo reported from Sao Paulo. Associated Press writer Mauricio Savarese in Sao Paulo contributed to this report.

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Da Silva’s candidate vows to be his own man in Brazil

September 13, 2018

SAO PAULO (AP) — In his first full day as the presidential candidate for Brazil’s Workers’ Party, Fernando Haddad pledged Wednesday to be his own man if elected and not bow to financial markets or the interests of other countries, including the United States.

His promise to be his own man came a day after he replaced former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva as the left-leaning party’s candidate in October’s election and apparently was directed at perceptions that he will be beholden to his jailed friend and political ally.

Da Silva was barred from running because of a corruption conviction and on Tuesday his Workers’ Party officially chose Haddad, who was to have been da Silva’s vice presidential running mate, to lead its ticket.

Haddad’s comment about not bowing to financial markets came after Brazil’s main stock exchange fell whenever da Silva improved his position in the polls and jumped after his presidential bid was barred.

They want a president “to whom the financial markets can say what they want and what they don’t want. What (U.S. President Donald) Trump wants or what Trump doesn’t want,” said the 55-year-old former mayor of Sao Paulo to a crowd.

Haddad said unpopular President Michel Temer did not have the authority to stand up to U.S. Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis, who visited the South American nation in August. “The American secretary came here to tell our government what to do,” Haddad said.

Haddad spoke at a meeting with beneficiaries of education programs started during da Silva’s presidency, between 2003 and 2010. The presidential hopeful was Brazil’s education minister from 2005 to 2012, the year he was elected mayor. Four years later he lost re-election by a landslide.

Asked about the influence da Silva would have if he wins, Haddad said the former president is “an inspiration,” but called his party’s program for the 2018 election of “our Gospel.” “It has my signature and it has Lula’s too,” he said.

While da Silva has publicly endorsed Haddad as the Workers’ Party presidential candidate, many wonder whether supporters of da Silva — who had held a clear lead in all polls — will actually listen and back Haddad, who until now had relatively little appeal?

The designation of Haddad comes only four weeks before Brazil’s first round of voting on Oct.7. If none of the candidates reaches 50 percent plus one vote – as is expected – there will be a runoff on Oct.28.

A Datafolha poll published on Monday shows Haddad in fourth place, favored by just 9 percent of those surveyed. That was a rise of 5 percentage points in just a few weeks, but still behind rightist congressman Jair Bolsonaro’s 24 percent, left-leaning Ciro Gomes’ 13 percent, centrist Marina Silva’s 11 percent and right-leaning Geraldo Alckmin’s 10 percent.

The poll had a margin of error of 2 percentage points. All the 2,804 voters sampled were interviewed on Monday, days after da Silva’s candidacy was barred by the electoral court and Bolsonaro was stabbed in an incident that might put him in hospital until election day.

Da Silva is serving a 12-year sentence for trading favors with construction company Grupo OAS for the promise of a beachfront apartment. The former president has always denied wrongdoing, arguing this case and several others pending against him are meant to keep him off the ballot.

Brazil’s da Silva names successor, but will voters follow?

September 12, 2018

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — In a letter from his jail cell, former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva called on tens of millions of supporters to vote for the man he named to lead his Workers’ Party ticket in October’s presidential election.

“I want everyone who would vote for me to vote for Fernando Haddad for president of Brazil,” da Silva, who Brazilians universally call Lula, said on Tuesday, the deadline for the party to pick another candidate after da Silva’s candidacy was barred. “From now on he will be Lula for millions of Brazilians.”

While long anticipated, the formal designation of Haddad both settled one question and launched another: Will da Silva’s supporters actually listen? The two men are close in their political views and said to be friends, but for many voters in Latin America’s largest nation they are also very different.

While da Silva is easily the country’s most recognizable politician after being president between 2003 and 2010, Haddad is largely unknown outside of Sao Paulo, where he was governor four years, a liability in a nation slightly larger than the continental U.S. While da Silva is charismatic and has an every-man touch, Haddad is a political science professor turned education minister who comes off as professorial. He also got trounced in his re-election bid as mayor in 2016, raising questions about how well he is at winning over voters.

Haddad, 55, also only begins his campaign in earnest on Wednesday, less than four weeks before voters go to the polls. Carlos Melo, a political science professor at Insper university, believes the strength of the party and da Silva’s endorsement will be enough to help Haddad get to a second round of voting. If no candidate gets more than 50 percent on Oct. 7, as expected, the top two finishers will meet in an Oct. 28 runoff.

“He was introduced as the candidate very late, we have to see if there is time for him to get all the votes he needs,” Melo said. Before running for mayor in 2012, Haddad served as education minister under da Silva and his predecessor, President Dilma Rousseff.

He was confirmed as the replacement to da Silva on Tuesday after a meeting of his party’s executive committee in the southern city of Curitiba, where the former president is jailed for a corruption conviction. He will be joined on the ticket by Manuela D’Avila, a member of Brazil’s Communist Party.

Recent polls show Haddad with less than 10 percent of voter intentions, but the party hopes he will now rise with da Silva’s endorsement. The current poll leader is far-right congressman Jair Bolsonaro.

A Datafolha poll published on Monday shows Haddad in fourth place, favored by 9 percent support. That was a rise of 5 percentage points in just a few weeks, but still behind Bolsonaro’s 24 percent, left-leaning Ciro Gomes’ 13 percent, centrist Marina Silva’s 11 percent and right-leaning Geraldo Alckmin’s 10 percent.

The poll had a margin of error of 2 percentage points. All the 2,804 voters sampled were interviewed on Monday, days after da Silva’s candidacy was barred by the electoral court and Bolsonaro was stabbed in an incident that might put him in hospital until election day.

The move to put Haddad on the top of the ticket was an acknowledgement that the left-leaning party could not get da Silva on the ballot despite numerous attempts in the courts. One of the last appeals of the former president was denied by Brazil’s top court after Haddad was announced as his replacement.

Haddad met with da Silva after the decision, then delivered his first speech as the candidate in front the federal police building where da Silva is jailed. “I feel the pain of many Brazilians who won’t be able to vote for who they want,” he said, standing next to D’Avila and other Workers’ Party heavyweights. “But now is not the time to have your head down.”

Da Silva is serving a 12-year sentence for trading favors with construction company Grupo OAS for the promise of a beachfront apartment. The former president has always denied wrongdoing, arguing this case and several others pending against him are meant to keep him off the ballot.

Da Silva led polls for more than a year, but his candidacy was recently barred by the country’s top electoral court. The strategy of holding on to da Silva’s candidacy until the last minute caused much internal fighting within the party. Many believed that leaving Haddad so little time to present his case to voters was risky, while others thought it was best to keep da Silva front and center as long as possible.

Since the beginning of the year the Workers’ Party hinted Haddad could be the candidate. When he was named candidate for vice president in mid-August the choice became obvious. “Haddad and I are like Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez,” da Silva once said, referring to superstar teammates on FC Barcelona’s soccer club. “We play together and we don’t even need to look at each other to know what the other is doing.”

Brazil race begins in earnest with da Silva off party ticket

September 11, 2018

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Brazil’s Workers’ Party on Tuesday replaced jailed former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva as its candidate for October’s general election, clarifying one of the biggest question marks hanging over the vote to lead Latin America’s largest nation.

The party confirmed the move after a meeting of its executive committee in the southern city of Curitiba, where da Silva is jailed. Fernando Haddad, a former Sao Paulo mayor, will lead the ticket and be joined by Manuela D’Avila, a member of Brazil’s Communist Party.

The move, while long expected, was an acknowledgement that the party could not get da Silva, who Brazilians universally call Lula, on the ballot despite numerous attempts in the courts. “The struggle has just begun. Let’s go, Haddad! Haddad is Lula!” the Workers’ Party Twitter account said. “He was a Lula minister, he is a Lula attorney and best of all: he is a friend of Lula’s.”

The political science professor turned education minister and later politician met with da Silva Tuesday after the decision, then delivered his first speech as the candidate in front of hundreds of supporters in front the federal police building where da Silva is jailed.

“I feel the pain of many Brazilians who won’t be able to vote for who they want,” said Haddad, standing next to D’Avila and other Workers’ Party heavyweights. “But now is not the time to have your head down.”

Da Silva is serving a 12-year sentence for trading favors with construction company Grupo OAS for the promise of a beachfront apartment. The former president, who governed between 2003 and 2010, has always denied wrongdoing, arguing this case and several others pending against him are meant to keep him off the ballot.

Da Silva led polls for more than a year, but his candidacy was recently barred by the country’s top electoral court. The court gave the party until Tuesday to replace da Silva. In a lengthy letter distributed by the Workers’ Party, da Silva recounted what he called “lies and persecution” that he and his family had suffered and urged supporters to vote for Haddad.

“Today and going forward, Fernando Haddad will be Lula for millions of Brazilians,” wrote da Silva. The strategy of holding on to da Silva’s candidacy until the absolute last minute caused much internal fighting within the party. Many believed that leaving Haddad so little time to present his case to voters was risky, while others thought it was best to keep da Silva front and center as long as possible.

“Haddad and I are like Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez,” da Silva once said, referring to super star teammates on FC Barcelona’s soccer club. “We play together and we don’t even need to look at each other to know what the other is doing.”

Rival candidates have frequently taken shots at Haddad, attacking the centerpiece of the party’s strategy: his dependence on da Silva. Brazil will have “a little president” if Haddad is elected, said left-leaning candidate Ciro Gomes last month.

“The theater of the Workers’ Party is over,” right-leaning Geraldo Alckmin said Tuesday. Recent polls show Haddad far behind, but the party hopes he will now rise with da Silva’s endorsement. The current poll leader is far-right congressman Jair Bolsonaro, consistently over 20 percent in a race that puts several candidates at around 10 percent.

Haddad was education minister under da Silva and his successor, Dilma Rousseff. In 2012 he was elected mayor of Sao Paulo, the most populous city in South America, but failed to get re-elected four years later.

A Datafolha poll published on Monday shows Haddad in fourth place, favored by 9 percent. That was a rise of five percentage points in just a few weeks, but still behind Bolsonaro’s 24, Gomes’ 13, centrist Marina Silva’s 11 and Alckmin’s 10 percent.

The poll had a margin of error of 2 percentage points. All the 2,804 voters sampled were interviewed on Monday, days after da Silva’s candidacy was barred by the electoral court and Bolsonaro was stabbed in an incident that might put him in hospital until election day.

If no candidate gets more than 50 percent on Oct. 7, a runoff will be held on Oct. 28. Political science professor Alberto Almeida, who has written several books on Brazilian polls, believes Haddad has a lot of potential to gain popularity, despite the little time for his campaign.

“By next week, it is possible that Haddad grows enough to see Marina and Ciro behind him. That was predictable because of Lula’s high support at around 40 percent in the polls,” Almeida said, adding: “The race is clearer now.”

After Rio museum fire, questions about cause, what survived

September 04, 2018

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Forensic investigators and researchers awaited access Tuesday to the National Museum of Rio de Janeiro, gutted in a fire, to find out how the blaze began and what remains of the 20 million artifacts that made the museum one of the most important in Latin America.

After a fire tore through the museum Sunday, engineers were doing tests on the structure to make sure it wouldn’t collapse. Authorities had expressed concern Monday that internal walls and parts of the roof were weak.

The museum held Latin America’s largest collection of historical and scientific artifacts, and officials suggested that the damage could be catastrophic, with one official telling a Brazilian news outlet that as much as 90 percent may have been destroyed.

The cause of the fire was not known. Federal police will investigate since the museum was part of the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro. But protesters, commentators and museum directors themselves said years of government neglect had left the museum so underfunded that its staff had turn to crowdfunding sites to open exhibitions. In another example of struggling public services, firefighters initially struggled to contain it because the hydrants closest to the museum did not work. Instead, trucks had to gather water from a nearby lake.

Roberto Leher, rector of the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, said it was well known that the building was vulnerable to fire and in need of extensive repairs. In fact, the institution had recently secured approval for nearly $5 million for a planned renovation, including an upgrade of the fire-prevention system, but the money had not yet been disbursed.

On Monday, officials promised $2.4 million to shore up the building and promised to rebuild the museum. “Those saying that the museum will be rebuilt are not telling the truth,” said Luiz Philippe de Orleans e Braganca, an heir to Brazil’s last emperor. “The building could be rebuilt, but the collection will never again be rebuilt. Two hundred years, workers, researchers, professors that dedicated in body and soul (to the museum) … the work of their life burned due to the negligence of the Brazilian state.”

The museum, whose main building was once home to the royal family, had extensive paleontological, anthropological and biological specimens. It also contained a skull called Luzia that was among the oldest fossils ever found in the Americas. It held an Egyptian mummy and the largest meteorite ever discovered in Brazil — one of the few objects that officials could confirm had survived. Some parts of the collection were held at others sites and thus spared.

Luiz Fernando Dias Duarte, the museum’s deputy director, said that anything held in the main building was likely destroyed, and Cristiana Serejo, a vice-director of the museum, told the G1 news portal that maybe around 10 percent of the collection had survived.

For many in Brazil, the state of the 200-year-old natural history museum quickly became a metaphor for what they see as the gutting of Brazilian culture and life during years of corruption, economic collapse and poor governance.

Brazil has struggled to emerge from a two-year recession and seen its political and corporate elite jailed in Latin America’s largest corruption investigation. The country has been riven with deep political divisions following the impeachment and removal of former President Dilma Rousseff.

DiLorenzo reported from Sao Paulo.

Brazil leftist party insists on banned candidate da Silva

September 02, 2018

SAO PAULO (AP) — Brazil’s main leftist party said Saturday it’s sticking with former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva as its presidential candidate even though the electoral court has thrown him off the ballot for an election just five weeks away.

Da Silva’s vice presidential running mate, former Sao Paulo Mayor Fernando Haddad told reporters the Workers Party will continue pushing to somehow get da Silva, 72, who easily leads in the polls, back on the ballot.

“The people are sovereign regarding the party’s candidate. And that candidate is Lula,” Haddad said. That strategy would keep da Silva in the spotlight until the absolute last minute, perhaps rallying support from backers that could then be transferred to a stand-in, likely Haddad, who is much less popular or charismatic.

The electoral court voted 6-1 early Saturday to reject da Silva’s candidacy because of a corruption conviction that has been upheld on appeal. Da Silva and the party are appealing both the conviction and the electoral court ruling.

The ruling had been widely expected and there were no immediate street protests of the sort that occurred when the former president was initially arrested. Da Silva, who was wildly popular when he left office on Jan. 1, 2011, is now a sharply polarizing figure. Many Brazilians still revere him for pulling millions from poverty during his eight years in power.

But he and the Workers’ Party have lost much of that appeal over the last several years due to a stumbling economy under his hand-picked successor Dilma Rousseff and a sprawling corruption probe that has ensnared many top businessmen and politicians, including da Silva.

That division was clear in the reaction to the electoral court ruling. “We have a big debt with Lula,” said Thiago Renato, a 39-year-old IT specialist in the northeastern city of Recife. “We trust him here. I will vote for whoever he endorses because then I will know who will have the biggest impact for the poor,” he added. “I know Haddad, but I don’t know him well. If he is the candidate, he will have my vote.”

At a Sao Paulo coffee shop, Alexandre Fonseca- 21 year old medical student, called the court decision an “unfortunate and fully expected ruling,” one unlikely to be overturned on appeal. “The party must unite behind Haddad or whoever will replace Lula, to win the elections and give continuity to his legacy,” he said.

But Virginia Toledo, a 37-year-old housewife in Sao Paulo, said da Silva’s ouster means “we have another reason to celebrate.” “First he was jailed and now his chances of returning to power have been eliminated,” she said, while buying ice cream for her 10-year-old daughter

“We have to pray that Haddad or whoever the Workers’ Party chooses as its candidate for president does not win the election,” she added The former president is serving a 12-year-sentence for corruption and money laundering after being convicted of trading favors with construction company Grupo OAS in exchange for the promise of a beach house apartment.

As part of the ruling, Justice Luis Roberto Barroso said the Workers’ Party should replace da Silva within 10 days, and that he should not appear as a presidential candidate in free airtime that is given to political parties on nationwide TV and radio.

However the party used the first day of free campaign TV airtime on Saturday to denounce the electoral court ruling in a spot that featured filed footage of da Silva. Left-leaning candidate Ciro Gomes of the Democratic Labor Party said the electoral court’s ruling was “not a good thing for Brazil.”

“No matter how much Lula is detested in some sectors and no matter how he is idolized in others, to prohibit the country’s biggest popular leader from taking part in the electoral process is traumatic.”

Lula da Silva barred from running for Brazil’s presidency

September 01, 2018

SAO PAULO (AP) — Former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has been barred from Brazil’s October presidential election by the country’s electoral court despite easily leading in the polls — a ruling that adds uncertainty to the race to lead Latin America’s largest nation, leaving no clear favorites.

In a session that stretched into the early hours of Saturday, the justices voted 6-1 against the once hugely popular president, who is imprisoned on a corruption conviction he claims is a sham. Da Silva’s left-leaning Workers’ Party issued a statement vowing to appeal, but there appeared to be scant chance it would succeed. That would seem to leave the party’s fortunes in the hands of its current vice presidential candidate Fernando Haddad, a former Sao Paulo mayor who so far has polled in single digits and would have to count on the borrowed charisma of da Silva to succeed.

Supreme Court Justice Luis Roberto Barroso cast the first vote against da Silva, saying the ruling was “very simple” because the law forbids candidates whose conviction has been upheld on appeal. “There is no margin here for the electoral court to make any other evaluation but the one showing there is a conviction, and that conviction matters in the candidate’s eligibility,” Barroso said.

Justice Edson Fachin disagreed, citing a recent call by a U.N. human rights committee calling for da Silva to be allowed to run while he further appeals his conviction. Even as the justices were debating, the Workers’ Party put out ads on social media channels featuring da Silva, holding fast to a strategy to keep the former president front and center as long as possible.

The former firebrand union leader led Brazil during a booming period from 2003 and 2010, promoting social policies that pulled millions from poverty. U.S. President Barack Obama once called him the “most popular politician on earth.”

But da Silva and party have lost much of that appeal over the last several years due to a stumbling economy under his hand-picked successor Dilma Rousseff and a sprawling corruption probe that has ensnared many top businessmen and politicians, including da Silva.

The 72-year-old ex-president is serving a 12-year-sentence for corruption and money laundering after being convicted of trading favors with construction company Grupo OAS in exchange for the promise of a beach house apartment.

Justice Barroso said the Workers’ Party should replace da Silva within 10 days, and that he should not appear as a presidential candidate in free airtime that is given to political parties on nationwide TV and radio starting on Saturday.

In a statement late Friday, the Workers’ Party said it would appeal the electoral court ruling, just as da Silva is fighting to overturn his corruption conviction. With da Silva out of the race, Haddad was expected to take his place on the Workers’ Party ticket. Polls show tepid support for his bid, but the party hopes da Silva’s popularity could boost the former mayor’s hopes.

On Saturday, Haddad was scheduled to visit Garanhuns, a city in Brazil’s impoverished Northeast where da Silva was born.

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