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The president of Public Services International (PSI), Dave Prentis, signed the manifesto "Election without Lula is fraud", which defends the right of former Brazilian president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva to run in the October 2018 presidential elections. Prentis had already shown his concern about the attacks on Brazil's democracy in his speech at the 30th World Congress of PSI, held between October 30 and November 3, 2017 in Geneva, Switzerland.
"In Brazil, we see the enduring popularity of Lula, who, despite difficult times and attacks on Brazil's democracy, continues to inspire hope for the future of its country", Prentis said.
In July 2017, the former Brazilian president was convicted for the crimes of passive corruption and money laundering. Judge Sérgio Moro's sentence, however, is repudiated by many jurists for having several faults and not presenting evidences. Many of these jurists, in addition to various members of trade union and social movements, denounce that the judicial process against Lula has political objectives. On January 24, the defense's appeal will be judged. If Moro's decision is upheld, the former president may be prevented from attending the elections.
The manifesto, which on January 22 had 200 thousand signatures, says:
“The attempt to schedule the date of the trial of Lula's appeal for the 24th of January is empty of legality. It is purely an act of persecution of the most popular Brazilian leader. The recourse to resort to spurious expedient to intervene in the electoral process happens because the coup of Dilma's Impeachment did not generate a political regime of lasting conservative stability.”
On January 24, several demonstrations of support for Lula are planned in several cities of Brazil. Overseas, activities are scheduled throughout the week in Frankfurt, Berlin, Cologne, Munich, Zurich, Paris, London, Barcelona, Stockholm, Madrid, New York and Mexico City.
The manifesto is available, in several languages, here.