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Presidential Election: Arrest Weakens Ex-President Lula and Sets Marina Silva Close to Bolsonaro, Datafolha Survey Shows

04/16/2018 - 07h35

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RICARDO BALTHAZAR
FROM SÃO PAULO

A Datafolha survey showed that the arrest of former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (PT) made him lose voters and increased suspicions of whether he will be able to run for president – the dispute for his electoral estate is still a question mark.

The nation-wide survey was carried out last week and shows that Lula is still leading the poles with 31% in the most favorable scenario among the nine possibilities surveyed. In late January, the previous Datafolha survey showed that 37% of those interviewed said they would vote for him.

The new survey was held between Wednesday, April 11, and Friday, the 13th. A total of 4,194 people were interviewed in 227 Brazilian cities. As the scenarios are different from those in the January survey, a direct comparison between the two studies is not possible.

Lula's party, the PT, says it still intends to register his candidacy - Lula was arrested on Saturday, April 7, to serve a sentence for corruption and money laundering. Although the Ficha Limpa Act makes it impossible for him to run, Brazilian legislation allows candidates to register even in jail. The Electoral Courts will analyze the request.

In the scenarios without Lula, Congressman Jair Bolsonaro (PSL) and former senator Marina Silva (Rede) are tied in first place. While Bolsonaro has 17% of the intended votes, Silva's figures are between 15% and 16%. The survey has a two-percent margin of error.

Tom Vieira Freitas/Fotoarena/Folhapress
Former Governor Geraldo Alckmin (PSDB)
Former Governor Geraldo Alckmin (PSDB)

Former minister Ciro Gomes (PDT) reaches 9% in all the scenarios without Lula, tied with former governor Geraldo Alckmin (PSDB), whose figures vary between 7% and 8%, and with the former president of Brazil's Supreme Court, Joaquim Barbosa, who joined the PSB, but hasn't launched his candidacy. Barbosa oscillates between 9% and 10%.

Marina Silva, Ciro Gomes and Alckmin have run in previous presidential elections and are known among voters. Barbosa has never run in any election – he made the spotlights for the way he conducted the case of the mensalão trial in the Supreme Court in 2012.

Avener Prado/Folhapress
Marina Silva
Former Senator Marina Silva

Lesser known among voters, the other two members of the PT who could substitute Lula if he decides to give up have a poor performance. The former mayor of São Paulo, Fernando Haddad, has two percent and the former governor of Bahia, Jaques Wagner, only one percent.

The two leftist candidates who stood next to Lula in the hours prior to his arrest have similar results. Manuela D'Ávila (PC do B) reaches two percent in her best case scenario, while Guilherme Boulos (PSOL) has one percent.

President Michel Temer (MDB), who could run for president this year, reaches two percent of the intended votes. Former finance minister Henrique Meirelles, who joined Temer's party and also has presidential aspirations, does not reach even one percent.

Translated by THOMAS MUELLO

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