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Fearing Divisions within Party, PT Reaffirms that Lula Is Still Their Presidential Candidate

04/09/2018 - 11h48

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CATIA SEABRA
FROM SÃO PAULO
DANIEL CARVALHO
FROM BRASÍLIA

In order to politically defend former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva - who has been in prison in the city of Curitiba since Saturday night - party leaders of the PT (Workers' Party ) intend to hold a meeting in the city, which is the capital of Paraná, so they can stand behind their decision to endorse Lula as the party's official presidential candidate.

Even though they find it unlikely that Lula will be allowed to participate in the elections, allies have said that mentioning alternative candidates would mean admitting that the former president has lost the judicial battle.

There is growing concern of internal differences within the party and of the possibility of rallying around a single candidate on the left. For the time being, however, leftist parties PSOL and PCdoB refuse to take this into consideration.

According to the PT and his attorneys, Lula had an uneventful first day in his cell. He managed to get authorization to set up a TV so he could watch his soccer team, Corinthians, play. They went on to win the Paulista Championship. According to his lawyers, however, he is outraged by his current situation and he considers himself a political prisoner.

Lula supporters have set up tents on four streets right by the Federal Police precinct where the former president is being held. Yesterday, party leaders greeted them and singer Ana Cañas performed for them.

On Wednesday (the 11th), the Supreme Court (STF) will rule on an injunction that seeks to avoid the arrests of defendants following second-instance rulings until the STF has settled where it stands on arrests following such rulings.

Translated by THOMAS MATHEWSON

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