April 15th, Brazil’s Federal Supreme Court (STF) voted in plenary session to formally agree to drop charges against former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva in the “Operation Car Wash” corruption investigation. The result means Lula will be eligible to run in the 2022 presidential election.
In the day’s vote, one side was in favor, including Justice Fachin, who initially decided to drop all charges against Lula in the corruption case, and seven other federal justices. They all rejected the proposal by the Country’s Attorney-General’s Office to continue to bring charges against Lula. On the other hand, three federal justices said the charges against Lula should be upheld.
In reading out his vote, Fachin stressed that the actions described in the lawsuit against Lula did not show a direct link to the corruption case at Petrobras, Brazil’s state-owned oil company. Previously, the 13th Federal Court in Curitiba, Brazil, where Lula’s case was heard, had used it as the main evidence of Lula’s alleged corruption.
On March 8 this year, Fachin announced the cancellation of all charges against Lula in the Operation Car Wash investigation. In accordance with Brazilian law, the results of the collective vote of the Federal Supreme Court formally signalled the termination of the Lula proceedings. If Lula is still to be convicted and punished, the judiciary will need to re-investigate and collect evidence.
Former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who has previously shied away from talking about whether to run in the 2022 presidential election, said in a media interview earlier this month that he would decide whether to run in the 2022 presidential election depending on the political situation in Brazil and would not rule out running if necessary and physically permissible.