BRASILIA, April 5 (Xinhua) -- The president of the Workers' Party (PT), Senator Gleisi Hoffmann, reiterated Thursday that Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva remains the PT's presidential candidate, despite the fact that he may be jailed in the coming days.
After the Supreme Federal Court rejected a habeas corpus plea by Lula on Wednesday night, Hoffmann said that Lula was a political prisoner and that his arrest would make Brazil a "banana republic."
The senator met with Lula on Thursday morning in Sao Paulo, along with former President Dilma Rousseff.
After the meeting, she blasted the six justices who voted against Lula, saying that they had prevented the Supreme Court from "fulfilling its duty as guardian of the Constitution" and removed Lula's right to be considered innocent until proven guilty.
The rejection of the habeas corpus plea means that Lula may be arrested and jailed to begin his 12-year prison sentence for corruption, despite not having exhausted his appeals process.
This decision now rests with Sergio Moro, the judge who oversees Operation Lava Jato (Car wash) into the sprawling corruption ring within Petrobras.
"We do not accept this incarceration as being a done deal, we will consider any violence done against the former president to be a political imprisonment ... which will turn us into a banana republic," Hoffmann told the press.
Asked about the PT's candidate for the presidential elections in October, Hoffmann said Lula remained the party's choice.
"Lula continues as our candidate, because he is innocent. He is innocent, he has the right to run and I have no doubt about that ... he has everything to be elected, as the polls indicate. He will be the candidate as his candidacy represents a part of the Brazilian people," she continued.