Brazil: Most believe Lula is a political prisoner

Issue 

The most recent survey conducted by Vox Populi for Brazil’s Unified Workers’ Union (CUT) found 59% of the Brazilian population consider former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio ‘Lula’ da Silva to be a political prisoner. Lula, as he is popularly known, complied with an arrest warrant against him earlier this month few days following a Supreme Court ruling against his appeal earlier this month.

Ciritics of Lula’s jailing accuse Brazilian elites of trying to use criminal proceedings over corruption against Lula as a way to stop the popular ex-president from standing in October’s elections. Lula is leading in polls for the presidential race.

The survey found 58% believe that Lula still has the right to run for the presidency in October despite his conviction on corruption charges.

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The Vox Populi poll went further, showing that Lula continues to occupy first place, with 47% of voter intentions, in the presidential race — a rise in four points from the last poll taken in December.

Coming in at second place is right-wing Congressperson Jair Bolsonaro. Having proposed restoring military rule during his political career, he has also been quoted as saying that former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet “should have killed more people”.

He also said: “Women should earn less because they get pregnant” and “I’d be incapable of loving a homosexual son”.

The poll also revealed that 52% of respondents believe that Sergio Moro, the judge who convicted Lula on corruption charges, treats the former head of state more harshly than other defendants. This is a rise of 12 points from December’s poll.

Despite his conviction and jailing, Lula has topped every electoral poll conducted this year by all polling companies.

Lula’s two terms in office were marked by a slew of social programs, lifting millions of Brazilians out of poverty and removing the country from the United Nations World Hunger Map. He left office with a record approval rating of 83% in 2011, according to Datafolha.

[Abridged from TeleSUR English.]