Brazil’s Court of Appeals will conclude its corruption and money laundering ruling on former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva today. The court is expected to uphold the 12-year sentence originally levied last July.
This announcement comes after a Supreme Court injunction that barred da Silva’s imprisonment until at least April 4, when his case will resume in the higher court. This decision was important, given that da Silva’s is in the midst of a renewed run for the presidency.
Despite his likely conviction and imprisonment, da Silva remains popular and is currently polling ahead of all other candidates. However, Brazil bans politicians convicted of crimes from running for office, meaning da Silva will probably be forced out before the October election.
If da Silva cannot run, an opening could appear for a centrist candidate who can unite the divided, disillusioned electorate. If da Silva, a leftist who has attacked free market policies, bows out, expect Brazilian markets to rebound from the dip experienced during da Silva’s campaign. Ultimately, no matter the ruling, Brazil will need a uniting political force.
Josh analyses the economic impacts of geopolitical developments in emerging economies. He contributes regularly to The Daily Brief.