Brazil to field 13 candidates for Oct. presidential elections

Source: Xinhua| 2018-08-07 11:10:38|Editor: xuxin
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RIO DE JANEIRO, Aug. 6 (Xinhua) -- Brazil's October presidential elections will see at least 13 candidates vie for the country's top job, recent primaries indicate.

Both major and small political parties held their national conventions over the past few days to elect their candidates, who must now register with the Superior Electoral Court (TSE) by Aug. 15.

Brazil's progressive Workers' Party (PT), which governed for most of this century, confirmed embattled ex-president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva will be its candidate, despite his legal woes.

Lula is serving a 12-year jail term for corruption and Brazilian law bars anyone convicted of a crime from running for elected office. However, his defense lawyers continue to appeal his sentence.

Should Lula, who leads pre-election polls, be unable to run, the PT's backup candidate is former mayor of Sao Paulo Fernando Haddad, who is tapped to be his running mate.

If Haddad runs, then Deputy Manuela D'Avila, of the Communist Party of Brazil (PCdoB), would be his running mate.

The Brazilian Social Democracy Party (PSDB), another major political power, will field former Sao Paulo state governor Geraldo Alckmin.

The ruling Brazilian Democratic Movement (MDB) has chosen former finance chief Henrique Meirelles, who served as head of Brazil's central bank from 2003 to 2010 and as finance minister from 2016 to early 2018.

Current President Michel Temer, who came to power after the PT's Dilma Rousseff was impeached in 2016 halfway through her second term, is not running for reelection.

Pre-election polls show that trailing Lula in popularity with a big margin in the second place is Jair Bolsonaro, the candidate of the conservative Social Liberal Party (PSL).

Some other parties have also unveiled their candidates: businessman Joao Amoedo of the New Party; Daciolo Santos of the Patriot Party; Joao Goulart Filho, son of former President Joao Goulart, who ruled in the 1960s, of the Free Nation Party (PPL); Jose Maria Eymael of the Christian Democrats (DC); Marina Silva of the Sustainability Network (Rede); and Alvaro Dias of Podemos.

The list also includes Ciro Gomes of the Democratic Labor Party (PDT); Vera Lucia Salgado of the Unified Workers' Socialist Party (PSTU); and Guilherme Boulos of the Socialism and Freedom Party (PSOL).