By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – The PT (Workers Party) announced it was choosing former leader Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, as its candidate for this year’s Presidential election, despite the fact that the former leader has been in jail since April for corruption.
Over the weekend, thirteen other political parties announced or confirmed their candidates for president and vice-president.
“They want to make the presidential election a rigged card game, excluding the name that is ahead in popular preference in all the polls,” read the message sent by Lula to party member during Saturday’s PT convention.
According to Brazilian law, a person is ineligible to run for public office if he/she has been convicted of a crime. PT supporters say the majority of Brazilian voters want Lula as the next president and their wish should be heard.
On Sunday, the name of former São Paulo mayor, Fernando Haddad, was confirmed as Lula’s running mate, which has led analysts to speculate that if Lula’s candidacy is ruled inadmissible, Haddad would take over as the PT candidate.
The Lula nomination, however, had to share headlines with news from other important political parties, which confirmed their nominations and announced the candidates’ running mates.
After much discussion and speculation, right-wing candidate and former army captain, Jair Bolsonaro, announced his running mate would be General Hamilton Mourão.
Bolsonaro, second placed in voting intention polls had discussed inviting a woman, a prince and even a former astronaut to be his running mate, but settled on the army official, making his the only ‘military ticket’ in this year’s October election.
Ciro Gomes, also one of the top contenders, and seen as the left-wing alternative to the PT candidate, chose former senator and cabinet member, Katia Abreu, as his running mate. Abreu, known for her strong connections with Brazil’s agribusiness segment was former president Dilma Rousseff’s Agriculture Minister.
The candidate from the center, with the greatest number of alliances and the most TV time during the campaign, Geraldo Alckmin, chose Senator Ana Amelia Lemos, a strong supporter of the Lava Jato (CarWash) corruption probe and of the ruralist block in Congress as his running mate.