Ex-President Lula's unfair trial may turn him into Brazilian Mandela

The result of the trial of Lula’s defense in court constitutes a measure of suppression of political opponents from the right-wing forces, RISS expert Dmitry Burykh considers. He reminded that Lula’s original sentence was increased from nine-and-a-half years to 12 years. If you get acquainted with the indictment, “it will become clear that no credible evidence of guilt has been produced, and his incrimination was based largely on the testimony of witnesses in exchange for concessions from the court.”

“The court's verdict strongly increases the chances Lula will be barred from running or becoming president in 2018. Of course, this is not the final decision. There is a chance to appeal to the Supreme Court. But there are certain nuances that are associated with the registration of the candidate within the time frame indicated, the Supreme court’s decision and its ability to take Lula into custody,” the analyst explained.

If the court makes such a hard decision, “the former President almost instantly may turn into a national hero by analogy with Mandela, who has become a symbol of national liberation movement.”

The expert added that Brazil’s Lula is very popular among the population; even according to the right-wing social services, his support is not reduced below 35%. In addition, special marches in support of Lula, both in Porto Alegre and in Sao Paulo gathered thousands of people.

According to the analyst, Lula’s sentence may lead to further polarization of Brazilian society, which can result in extreme forms of protests and even in an armed confrontation. The trial of Lula is the US demonstration of the power of the "right", suppressing their opponents, left and center-left forces.

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