Jailed Lula Could Still Campaign for President in Brazil

(Bloomberg) -- Not even jail may stop former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva from campaigning in Brazil’s presidential election this year.

Lula could still appeal to the Supreme Court if electoral authorities turn down his candidacy, as widely anticipated, following a criminal conviction that carries a 12-year jail sentence. Until a final ruling, Brazilian law would allow him to carry out “campaign acts,” according to legal experts consulted by Bloomberg.

That includes recording political ads to be broadcast on national radio and television, said Alberto Rollo, a specialist in electoral law and professor at Universidade Presbiteriana Mackenzie, in Sao Paulo. The recordings could take place in the federal police building where Lula is under arrest in the city of Curitiba, or even outside jail if authorized by a judge. The former president could even participate in televised debates pending authorization, said Roberto Dias, a law professor at Getulio Vargas Foundation.

The deadline for parties to register their candidates is August 15. Electoral authorities have until September 17 to approve those requests. The first round of Brazil’s elections is scheduled for October 7.

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