By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Brazil’s former Supreme Court Chief Justice, Joaquim Barbosa, announced on Tuesday (May 8th) that he will not be running for the country’s highest seat in October. Barbosa, seen by many as one of the country’s anti-corruption crusader had been thinking of pursuing the Presidency and already had almost ten percent of voter intention.

Brazil,Former Supreme Court Justice, Joaquim Barbosa, announced he will not be running for President this year,
Former Supreme Court Justice, Joaquim Barbosa, announced he will not be running for President this year, photo by Felipe Sampaio.

“It’s decided. After several weeks of much thought, I finally came to a conclusion. I do not intend to be a candidate for President of the Republic. Decision is strictly personal,” said Barbosa through his official Twitter account.

In the latest Datafolha survey, eight to ten percent of voters said that they planned to vote on Barbosa if he were candidate. The survey which did not include the candidacy of former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, the former Chief Justice was behind only federal representative Jair Bolsonaro (PSL-RJ) and ex-Environment Minister Marina Silva (Rede).

According to political analysts, votes to be given to Barbosa are more likely to be divided among center-left wing politicians, such as Silva and Ciro Gomes.

Barbosa came into Brazil’s political limelight when he presided over the mensalão corruption scandal. Seen as a precursor of the Lava Jato corruption graft, the scandal sent to jail some of the country’s leading politicians for corruption, money laundering, as well as racketeering, in connection to the payment of large monthly allowances to members of Congress in exchange of favorable votes on legislation between 2003 and 2005.

said that Barbosa could participate in another form of the electoral process. According to the former governor of São Paulo, there are many ongoing talks on alliances, but this should only be completed in July. The PSB, a party to which the former minister is affiliated, is allied with the PSDB in São Paulo.

“It’s a loss, because we need new leaders like him, with more participation and services for the State. I’m sure that if it’s not as a candidate, his participation will be in another capacity,” said PSDB (Social Democratic Party) pre-candidate and former São Paulo governor, Geraldo Alckmin told journalists.

In the beginning of October more than 144 million Brazilian voters will go to the polls to choose their next president. If no single candidate is able to garner more than 50 percent of the valid votes, there will be a second round of elections at the end of October with the two top placed candidates.

Political parties must announce their candidates until the beginning of August.

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