Oman Observer

Haddad to run as Lula quits presidential race

CURITIBA: Brazil’s jailed ex-leader Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva tapped his running mate Fernando Haddad on Tuesday to replace him on the ballot in next month’s presidential election, bowing out of the race after he was barred from seeking a new term.
The switch was approved at a meeting of the Workers Party in the southern city of Curitiba — where Lula has been held since April for corruption — as the clock ticked down on a court-ordered deadline for him to name a stand-in.
“The decision has been made,” a party official said.
Hundreds of Lula supporters had gathered near the jail where he is being held. Haddad read a letter there from his mentor anointing him as his political heir.
“It is time to get out on the streets, with heads high, and win this election!” Haddad told supporters.
The decision came less than two weeks after Brazil’s Superior Electoral Tribunal ruled that the popular but polarizing former president cannot run while serving his 12-year prison sentence.
Haddad, a former mayor of Sao Paulo who also served as Lula’s education minister, faces a race against time with the first round of voting less than a month away. — AFP