Podcast: Brazil’s Lula fights to win back power and keep his freedom

World View podcast also looks at second stage of Brexit negotiations

Brazil’s former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. File photograph: Ricardo Moraes/File Photo

Brazil’s former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. File photograph: Ricardo Moraes/File Photo

 

‘World View’ is a weekly foreign affairs podcast from ‘The Irish Times’. Subscribe on Android, on Apple Podcasts, on Stitcher or on Soundcloud.

Former Brazilian president Lula da Silva, a “man of the people” once dubbed “the most popular politician on Earth” by Barack Obama, is barred from contesting the country’s presidential elections in October, after his conviction for corruption was upheld on appeal last week.

Lula, who has two appeals left, has the support of 33 per cent of the electorate and his followers say that is reason enough not to convict him, so that he may run in the election.

On today’s World View podcast Tom Hennigan reports on this story from Brazil, where he says many suspect Lula’s pledge to fight for the right to contest the presidency is a ploy to avoid jail.

If Lula does win the right to stand for election, he will have to face down Brazil’s extreme right-wing candidate Jair Bolsonaro, a ‘proto-facist’ whose racist and misogynistic statements have not prevented him from finding widespread support.

Also on the podcast, European Affairs Editor Patrick Smyth reports from Brussels, where the mood is one of weary resignation as the EU waits for UK Prime Minister Theresa May to make Britain’s position clear heading into the second stage of Brexit talks.