Lula is back? On March 8, Judge Faxin of the Supreme Court of Brazil announced the abolition of the guilty verdict against Lula. This paper ruling is like a blockbuster. The prestigious former President Lula has regained his political power, and the opportunity to compete for the 2022 Brazil presidential election is opening to him. Two days later, Lula gave a public speech, and some commented that the former president appeared again “with the tone of the campaign” and that “the political game in Brazil has changed.”
“The biggest victim of legal lies in 500 years”
The speech started from memories. Lula talked about the day when she surrendered in 2018. “I went against my will because I knew they were arresting an innocent person. The reason I decided to surrender was because it was wrong to appear in the newspaper as a fugitive, and I decided to prove my innocence to the police.” This 75 The year-old politician called himself “the biggest victim of legal lies in 500 years.”
Four years ago, Lula was involved in a large-scale anti-corruption investigation “Car Wash” that swept across Latin American political and business circles. He was accused of accepting a seaside apartment and warehouse purchased and renovated for him by a construction company. He helped the company obtain a partnership with Petrobras. Contracts. In 2017, Lula was convicted of corruption and money laundering. In April of the following year, Moro, the then Federal Judge of Curitiba and the leader of the “Car Wash Operation”, issued an arrest warrant, asking Lula to report to the police within a time limit, and then Lula surrendered and was jailed. While in prison, he increased his sentence for new corruption charges. However, the Supreme Court of Brazil later passed a resolution that the second instance was found guilty and imprisoned was not in line with the Constitution, because the suspect had one last chance to appeal, and Lula was able to be released after serving 580 days of imprisonment. However, according to Brazil’s “Innocent Files Act”, people who have committed money laundering and other crimes are not allowed to run for public office within 8 years after being convicted. Therefore, even if Lula is released from prison, he would not be eligible to participate in next year’s general election.
Above: On November 8, 2019, after multiple trials and commutation, Lula ended his sentence early and was released. Below: On March 13, Lula received the new crown pneumonia vaccine.
This time, Faxin’s judgment brought about a turning point. Fahin believes that the Thirteenth Federal Court of Curitiba, which previously handed down Lula’s verdict, can only hear corruption cases involving Petrobras, and Lula’s allegations are not directly related to the case. As the president is in the capital Brasilia, the Federal Court of Curitiba has no right to judge Lula, and all cases will be transferred to the courts of the Federal District of Brasilia for trial. Since he has not yet been convicted, Lula’s political rights have been restored. If he is not convicted again before the 2022 election, he can participate in the race for the presidency.
In fact, the dispute over the jurisdiction of the “car wash operation” case has a long history. After Lula was sentenced, his lawyers also raised relevant questions, and the five judges of the Brazilian Supreme Court voted on whether the trial is doubtful. In December 2018, Faxin voted that the verdict was unambiguous, but the voting process was later shelved. According to the rules, any justice can change his position before the final result is announced. It was Faxin who changed his position at the beginning of this month that caused a sudden change in the situation. Now the voting is restarted. There are two judges who agree and disagree with the judgment in doubt, and one person said that he has just entered the Supreme Court and needs more time to study the case.
The “Lion” out of the basket stirs up the election situation
But Lula did not waste any time. “He was detained in Curitiba for more than 500 days; then because of the epidemic, he was kept at home; he went to Cuba and was infected with the new crown pneumonia virus and was quarantined there. This really drove him crazy, he was the kind of People who want to be in contact with people.” Lula’s friends described him as “a lion in a cage.” Now the lion can come out of the cage. In the “Return” speech, Lula said: “I feel very young. There is no’give up’ in my dictionary. I learned from my mother: Constant struggle.”
He is still calling on the public to pay attention to the prevention and control of the epidemic. “Don’t follow any stupid decision of the President or the Minister of Health to get vaccinated.” He expressed support for the infected and the medical staff. “Compared with the pain suffered by millions of Brazilians, the pain I feel is not at all. That’s nothing.” On March 13, Lula received the first dose of the new crown pneumonia vaccine developed by a Chinese company in San Bernardo do Campo, Sao Paulo State.
Lula also strongly criticized the current government in his speech: “This country does not have a government. It does not care about the economy, employment, health, environment, education and young people in marginal areas. What is the government doing?” He also showed reconciliation. Attitude, expressing willingness to communicate with all political forces in Brazil. Some analysts commented that this is the best speech in Lula’s political career, facing the future and giving dignity to politics.
Although Lula said it is too early to talk about the 2022 election, he has become the most watched person in this competition. According to polls, Lula is the only candidate who may rival the current President Bolsonaro in approval ratings. Under Bolsonaro’s background, Lula became a representative of the “normal government”. The former speaker of the Brazilian Chamber of Deputies, Maya, gave a comparison: “One has a national vision, one only sees his own belly button; one defends vaccines, science and medical systems, and the other defends hydroxychloroquine (a type widely used in the treatment of malaria and rheumatism). Anti-malarial and anti-inflammatory agents for arthritis. The World Health Organization strongly recommended in early March not to use hydroxychloroquine to prevent infection with the new crown virus) and Israeli spray (a nasal spray, which Bolsonaro previously described as a treatment for the new crown) The “magic product” of pneumonia has caused controversy); one defends independent foreign policy, one defends obedience; one respects and defends democracy, one does not know what it is; one formed a party, participated in 4 elections, one was a’historical accident’ Maya said that he has major disagreements with Lula on economic issues. “But you don’t have to like Lula to tell the difference between the former president and the current president.”
Above: Lula (third from left) was concerned about labor rights when he was young, and later became a local trade union leader and founded the Labor Party. Below: On January 1, 2007, Lula (first from left), who was re-elected in the presidential election, and his wife took a convertible to the Capitol.
However, compared with Bolsonaro, the blows suffered by the centrists were more deadly. The analysis believes that due to the lack of strong candidates on the left in Brazil except for Lula, and Bolsonaro on the right is caught in the quagmire of the epidemic and economic downturn, the election originally gave the newly emerging centrists an opportunity. However, Lula’s participation will encourage voters to divide into the two ends of the political spectrum, and a large loss of supporters of the centrist. Although Lula emphasized unity and cooperation in his speech, his entry may make Brazil more divided.
Can the “Lula Age” be reproduced?
Lula is a legend in Brazilian politics. He was born in a poor family and ranked seventh among 8 siblings. He went out to work early as a postman, warehouse worker and lathe worker. At the age of 18, he lost his left little finger due to a work-related injury. Later, his first wife died in poverty. He began to pay attention to labor rights, and then became the leader of the local labor union and founded the Labor Party. In 1989, 1994 and 1998, he ran for president three times, but all failed. He finally got his wish in the 2002 general election and became the country’s first worker. President of birth. “If I fail, it means the failure of the entire working class. It means that the poor do not have the ability to manage the country.” He vowed to eliminate hunger and create a confident, caring and outgoing country.
Facts have proved that Lula not only did not fail, but also led Brazil through an unprecedented moment of high light. During his eight years in power, Brazil’s economy has grown at an average annual rate of 4.3%, returning to the top ten of the world economy. From a debtor country to a creditor country of the International Monetary Fund, it is a well-deserved “BRIC country”; the government launched “Zero Hunger”. People’s livelihood projects such as “family subsidies” have greatly reduced the number of people living in poverty; Brazil has also won the right to host the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Rio Olympics, and its international reputation has greatly increased. When Lula left office, his approval rating exceeded 80%. In 2018, with Lula already in prison, the Labor Party insisted on nominating him as the presidential candidate. It was only after the nomination was rejected by the Brazilian High Electoral Court that Bolsonaro had the chance to create a historical surprise.
However, Lula’s aura is not without flaws. There are reports describing him as the most beloved and hated person in Brazil. The cartoon image of him wearing a prison uniform was made into a doll by opponents and a huge inflatable doll that appeared in the protest team. In the eyes of these people, Lula is a corrupt populist. His colleagues in the Labor Party went to jail for bribing parliamentarians in exchange for political support. He overemphasized labor welfare and “raised lazy people”, causing headaches for companies and investors. . During the term of his successor Rousseff, Brazil’s economic prosperity is no longer good, the “car wash operation” continues to ferment, Rousseff himself was impeached and stepped down, and the Labour Party was riddled with corruption scandals and his image plummeted.
Can Lula’s return create a glorious “Lula era” again? The market’s first reaction was not positive: the stock market plummeted and the Brazilian real depreciated sharply. There are concerns that political polarization may increase the populism of policies and hinder a market-friendly economic reform agenda. “He will seek revenge and blame the market, media and business leaders for the failure of the Labor Party.” Some analysts are also more optimistic, believing that Lula has learned lessons from past experiences and is not necessarily a bad thing for the market. As Lula said in his speech: “Don’t be afraid of me. I am radical because I want to solve the problems of this country from the root.”
Luis Inácio Lula da Silva was
born in 1945 He participated in the creation of the Labor Party in 1980 and served as the President of Brazil from 2003 to 2010. He was the first president of Brazil with a worker origin. Sentenced for corruption and money laundering in 2017, imprisoned in April the following year, released in 2019, and overturned in March 2021.