Millennium Post

Jailed by pro-US judges, Lula still leads Brazil polls

Sao Paulo: Brazil's fiery leftwing former president, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, retains a strong lead ahead of presidential elections despite his conviction on graft charges, according to an opinion poll on Wednesday.
An appeals court last week upheld a money laundering and corruption conviction against Lula and imposed a more than 12 year prison sentence. The sentence means that the Workers' Party founder and icon of the Latin American left has few avenues left to being allowed to run in October's election.
Despite the scandal, Lula remains a clear frontrunner, the respected Datafolha pollsters found in the first
survey since the appeals court decision. In the poll, published by Folha de S. Paulo newspaper, Lula would get between 34 and 37 percent of votes in a first round on October 7.
This is far ahead of far-right candidate Jair Bolsonaro, who polls with 16 to 18 percent, according to Datafolha.
A crowded field is currently disputing third place in the poll, including environmentalist Marina Silva, leftist Ciro Gomes, and Sao Paulo Governor Geraldo Alckmin, from the establishment center-right party PSDB.
In a second round on October 28 -- if Lula were allowed to run -- the former president would easily defeat Bolsonaro by 49 to 32 percent, Datafolha found. If Lula were absent, Bolsonaro would still lose to several of the current third place candidates in a runoff round, Datafolha said.
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