Protests by supporters of former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (Lula) are likely in Brazil in the coming days or weeks. Mass gatherings occurred on August 15, the day Lula was officially registered as the Workers’ Party (PT) candidate for the October presidential elections. However, there is a high probability that Lula’s candidacy will be invalidated by the electoral court due to the fact that he is currently serving a 12-year sentence on corruption charges. Such a decision - expected one way or the other before August 31, the official launch of the campaign period - would likely spark large protests in cities across the country, for example in of Curitiba where Lula is imprisoned. Anti-Lula demonstrations are also possible. Clashes and other violent acts are possible at any protests, along with localized traffic disruptions.
Lula was president from 2003 to 2011 and, as the country's first working-class ruler, was and remains a popular figure among much of the population. Lula was convicted to 12 years in prison in rulings made in July 2017 and January 2018 but had remained free until April amid the appeals process. Lula and the PT have characterized his conviction as a political witch-hunt intended to keep him out of office.
Individuals in Brazil are advised to keep abreast of the situation and the sociopolitical climate, as well as to avoid all associated demonstrations due to the potential for violence.
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