BRASILIA, Aug. 23 (Xinhua) -- Brazil's Superior Electoral Court (TSE) on Thursday gave ex-president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva seven days to argue his case for running for president despite a criminal conviction.
Lula has until Aug. 30 to defend his eligibility as a candidate, which has been questioned by opposition figures and other candidates.
Brazil's Clean Record Act bars those convicted of a crime from running for elected office.
Lula is currently serving a 12-year prison sentence for corruption.
Should the TSE reject his candidacy in October's general elections, his defense team could still appeal to the Supreme Federal Court.
Lula's Workers' Party has until Sept. 17 to register a substitute candidate if he is disqualified, and that would be his current running mate Fernando Haddad.
On Friday, the United Nations Human Rights Commission called on Brazil to ensure Lula's political rights, such as access to the press and members of his party.