RIO DE JANEIRO, June 28 (Xinhua) -- Although serving a prison sentence, Brazil's former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva continues to be in the lead among 2,000 electorate in the upcoming presidential elections, according to a poll published on Thursday.
According to Brazilian Institute of Public Opinion and Statistics (IBOPE), Lula has obtained 33 percent of support among all the candidates. In second place is former military officer and extreme-right-winger Jair Bolsonaro, with 15 percent, followed by former senator and environment minister Marina Silva, with seven percent, and former governor of Ceara state and National Integration Minister Ciro Gomes, with four percent.
Statistics show that despite the arrest, the former president continues to be a favorite among voters.
Lula is serving a 12-year prison sentence for a corruption scandal involving state oil company Petrobras. However, the imprisonment still remains controversial with his appeal against the conviction and support from most Brazilians.
In addition, Lula still has the right to appeal to the Superior Court of Justice and then the Supreme Federal Court. His lawyers are attempting to get him to remain free until all appeals are judged.@ However, even if the lawyers succeed, there is no guarantee that the Superior Electoral Court would approve his candidacy, based on a law which foresees that candidates which pending convictions cannot run in the election.