Tens of thousands ‘register’ Brazil’s Lula as presidential candidate

People’s movements gather 50,000 in Brasília in demonstration to register former president with top electoral court

Brasília |
“A lie cannot destroy a 40-50-year relationship with the people,” said Lula’s running mate, Fernando Haddad
“A lie cannot destroy a 40-50-year relationship with the people,” said Lula’s running mate, Fernando Haddad - Matheus Alves

For the first time in Brazil’s history, a presidential candidate was registered with the electoral court by thousands of Brazilians.

Approximately 50,000 people gathered on Wednesday in Brasília, the capital city of the country, to register ex-president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva as the Workers’ Party candidate for president in the October elections.

A group led by Workers’ Party chair and senator Gleisi Hoffmann, ex-president Dilma Rousseff, former São Paulo mayor and Lula’s running mate Fernando Haddad, and congresswoman and partner from the Communist Party of Brazil in the electoral alliance Manuela D’Ávila registered the former president with the country’s Supreme Electoral Court.

The more than 5,000 rural workers who marched more than 50 kilometers (30 miles) over the past five days were among the tens of thousands of demonstrators outside the top electoral court building.

Kelli Mafort, from the national board of the Landless Workers’ Movement (MST), said that the demonstration in Brasília was beyond their expectations and proved the Brazilian people know what they want.

“Those who are here struggling today are representing those thousands and thousands of Brazilians who say they want to vote for Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. This is a historic fight, because it shows that registering a candidate should be more than just filing some paperwork, but a collective endeavor like the one we are witnessing here today,” she said.

Fernando Haddad said that officially registering Lula shows that the coup plot is drawing to its end.

“They wanted the people to give up on Lula. They wanted to make the people forget about Lula at all cost. But the people know Lula. A lie cannot destroy a 40-50-year relationship with the people,” Haddad said. The running mate also read a message written by Lula to supporters.

“Tomorrow we start our tour around Brazil. Each one of you will have to be Lula walking this country, campaigning,” wrote the now candidate, who has been held as a political prisoner since April 7th in Curitiba, southern Brazil.

Moments before walking into the Supreme Electoral Court building, senator Gleisi Hoffmann spoke to demonstrators.

“We are here with our head held high to tell them [the Right] we are not afraid. We believe in the Brazilian people. This registration is a victory for us,” she said.

Edited by: Cecília Figueiredo | Translated by Aline Scátola