Protests by supporters of former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (Lula) are likely in Brazil in the coming days and weeks after the country's electoral court officially barred Lula from running as a candidate in the October 7 presidential election. The ruling was announced in the early morning hours (local time) of Saturday, September 1, and while not unexpected, does inject some uncertainty into next month's vote as Lula currently holds a comfortable lead in the polls despite his incarceration. Lula's Workers' Party (PT) now has ten days to remove Lula from their ticket, and although the party has stated it intends to appeal the court's decision, it is not considered likely to succeed. Lula's vice presidential running mate, former São Paulo mayor Fernando Haddad, is widely expected to replace Lula as the PT candidate. Protests and other election-related events are to be expected nationwide in the coming weeks, accompanied by an increased security presence. 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 or political events due to the potential for violence.
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